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Authors Are Rockstars Tour: Michelle Zink Guest Post + Giveaways

Fiktshun-presents-MZ

I have been a huge fan of author Michelle Zink since before I became a blogger so I am unbelievably stoked to be able to host her here on the blog for the Authors Are Rockstars Tour today.

And I feel so incredibly lucky to be the recipient of the awesome guest post she wrote for this tour which introduces her character Claire from her upcoming novel THIS WICKED GAME and tells of the first time she witnessed her mother practicing voodoo.

I have been anxiously awaiting this upcoming book’s release for quite some time, but after having read the last paragraph of the post I am now officially dying to read it. And I think, when you read it, it will make you just as eager to read it too.

Of course we’ll have to wait for its release in November… well, except for the winner of the giveaway, who will get the chance to read it much earlier than that. I am already officially jealous!

Once again Michelle Zink has written a story that sounds absolutely intriguing, one that offers something a little bit different to its readers with its setting and its premise. And with its eye-catching cover – yes I noticed the skull in the scrollwork – and its very appealing title, I have a feeling this is going to be one of my favorite books by this author.

In addition to the amazing guest post and some information about THIS WICKED GAME, I’ve also included just a little bit of info about the author and places where she can be found online. I also just had to include one or two details about her other young adult tiles.

And at the bottom of this post there are a couple giveaways. The author is giving away an ARC of THIS WICKED GAME along with a paperback copy of A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS. And I’ve added in a giveaway for a book of the winner’s choice of one of Michelle Zink’s books to two winners.

So be sure to check that all out below. But before all that, after this rather long introductory ramble, I thought I’d mention one or two reasons why I think Michelle Zink is a rockstar.

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Michelle Zink is a Rockstar because…

Her stories are gorgeous and haunting and unique and memorable.

Her writing is absolutely, stunningly beautiful.

With each and every book she transports me into a world unlike any other I’ve visited before.

With each world she creates I never want to leave.

She made me a fan from the very first lines of the very first story I read.

Perhaps because it seems so appropriate, I don’t notice the rain. It falls in sheets, a blanket of silvery thread rushing to the hard almost-winter ground. Still, I stand without moving at the side of the coffin.

(Passage from PROPHECY OF THE SISTERS.)

And she continues to keep me captivated with each and every story.

Dimitri leans down, placing his lips very near my ear.

“What do you think?”

It takes my breath away. I find I cannot do it justice with words, and so I simply smile in answer.

He reaches to touch my hair, and even now it seems his eyes darken with something like desire. I am surprised when his hand comes away with the ivory comb Father gave me long ago.

(Passage from GUARDIAN OF THE GATE.)

“I had a nightmare.”

His face softens, and he lowers himself to the ground, stretching his body out beside mine and taking me into his arms until my head is pressed to his chest.

“Tell me,” he says. “Tell me your nightmares.”

The silence between us is a weight on my heart, and I am reminded of another instance, another time when I was urged to speak of my fears. Of the things growing wild and dark in the fortress of my consciousness.

(Passage from CIRCLE OF FIRE.)

Michelle Zink amazes me with stories that are intelligent, rich and full of depth, stories that are also exciting, surprising and riveting. So, yes, she is definitely a rockstar author to me.

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About the Author

Michelle Zink

About Michelle Zink

Michelle Zink lives in New York with her four children. Prophecy of the Sisters was her first novel, and was chosen as one of Booklist’s Top Ten Debut Novels of 2009 and as one of the Chicago Public Library’s Best Books for Young Readers. It has also been listed on the New York Public Library’s Stuff for the Teen Age and the Lone Star Reading List.

WEBSITE | BLOG | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | GOODREADS

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The Guest Post

In THIS WICKED GAME (November 2013), my main character, Claire, makes passing reference to the first time she saw her mother practicing voodoo. Claire is seventeen in THIS WICKED GAME, but that first encounter with her mother’s practice left a lasting impression, one that only adds to the alienation  Claire feels from the family business. In this guest post, I’ve recreated that moment for Fiktshun readers. I hope you enjoy it!

MZ

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The first time I saw my mother practicing voodoo I was seven.

Sleepy-eyed from a late afternoon nap, I checked the parlor first. That’s where my mother usually was, sipping sweet tea and writing the endless stream of correspondence addressed to Guild members, customers, and anyone else who was due a “proper letter.”

But she wasn’t there, and I searched the kitchen and then the whole first floor before I finally gave up and climbed the stairs.

I called her name softly. My mother hated hearing her name shouted throughout the house. “Claire,” she would say, “I won’t speak to you until you address me politely. And by that I mean from a distance that doesn’t require you to shout like a banshee.”

I made my way down the long hall, the old wood floors accented with exotic carpets, past the doors to my bedroom, two bathrooms, and the guest rooms, finally stopping outside my parent’s room. The fact that the door was closed was unusual. Looking back, I think my mother must have practiced her rituals while I was asleep. Not to protect me. To her, voodoo was — and is — as natural as breathing. I think she just wanted to be alone. Wanted to pray and speak to the loas the way she used to, back when she was just a poor girl from the bayou, before she married my father, inheriting all the expectations of the Guild and the weighty Laveau name.

I don’t know what made me open the door. Good manners prohibited opening a closed door without knocking, and like most Southern girls, good manners had been drilled into me from infancy. Still, I turned the heavy bronze knob, and the door swung silently open.

She was there, dressed in the white tunic that was standard ritual garb (we sold them in the store), a purple shawl draped over her shoulders. She looked different. Younger. Her hair, black as midnight, fell in loose curls around her shoulders. Her eyes were closed, her lips moving in whispered prayer, the words strange and foreign, spoken in French. My gaze slid to the altar in front of her, taking it all in. The bible at its center. The purple candles flickering in front of a photograph of our family. The white sage and caraway seeds. The scent of patchouli heavy in the air.

I caught snippets of her prayer, words that had been used in ritual spell casting in the store, the prayers passed along to customers in need of love, protection, guidance, healing. Spoken like gossip over the bins of incense and gris-gris bags, the words hadn’t scared me then. Our customers were everyday people. They asked my parent’s opinion, purchased ingredients and were on their way. They could have been buying a carton of milk or a canister of chicory coffee from the market.

But this was different. I was suddenly, unaccountably afraid. When I remembered the moment years later, I would wonder if it was because it was so unfamiliar. I was used to seeing my mother in command. Giving advice that usually felt more like an order than a suggestion. Here she seemed fragile, vulnerable. At the mercy of the loas and their desire to do her bidding — or not.

That’s what I told myself. That there was nothing to be afraid of. That in its modern incarnation, voodoo was nothing more than holistic medicine with a dash of prayer. A bunch of natural remedies using herbs and roots that probably only worked because the people who bought them were already believers in voodoo. Placebo effect and all that.

And for a long time I believed it. Until that summer with Xander, Sasha, and the other firstborns. Until Maximilian and Eugenia and poor Elisabeta.

After that, I knew I’d been lying to myself. Watching my mother from the doorway, I hadn’t been afraid because she seemed unfamiliar. I was afraid because even then, I felt the power that coursed through our veins, as alive and hungry as any beast.

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This Wicked Game

This Wicked Game

About THIS WICKED GAME

Publisher: Dial
Release Date: November 14, 2013
Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Claire Kincaid’s family has been in business for over fifty years.

The voodoo business.

Part of the International Guild of High Priests and Priestesses, a secret society that have practiced voodoo for generations, the Kincaid’s run an underground supply house for authentic voodoo supplies. Claire plays along, filling orders for powders, oils and other bizarre ingredients in the family store, but she has a secret.

She doesn’t believe.

Struggling to reconcile her modern sensibilities with a completely unscientific craft based on suspicion, Claire can’t wait to escape New Orleans – and voodoo – when she goes to college, a desire that creates almost constant conflict in her secret affair with Xander Toussaint, son of the Guild’s powerful founding family.

But when a mysterious customer places an order for a deadly ingredient, Claire begins to realize that there’s more to voodoo – and the families that make up the Guild – than meets the eye.

Including her own.

As she bands together with the other firstborns of the Guild, she comes face to face with a deadly enemy – and the disbelief that may very well kill her.

GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

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A Temptation of Angels

Temptation of Angels

About A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS

Publisher: Dial
Release Date: March 20, 2012
Formats: Hardcover, paperback, eBook

Even angels make mistakes in this page-turning epic romance

When her parents are murdered before her eyes, sixteen-year-old Helen Cartwright finds herself launched into an underground London where a mysterious organization called the Dictata controls the balance of good and evil. Helen learns that she is one of three remaining angelic descendants charged with protecting the world’s past, present, and future. Unbeknownst to her, she has been trained her whole life to accept this responsibility. Now, as she finds herself torn between the angelic brothers protecting her and the devastatingly handsome childhood friend who wants to destroy her, she must prepare to be brave, to be hunted, and above all to be strong, because temptation will be hard to resist, even for an angel.

Michelle Zink masterfully weaves historical fantasy with paranormal romance to create a gripping tale of love and betrayal.

GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

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Prophecy of the Sisters

Prophecy-of-the-Sisters-Series

About PROPHECY OF THE SISTERS

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: August 1, 2009
Formats: Hardcover, paperback, audio, eBook

An ancient prophecy divides two sisters–one good, one evil.

Who will prevail?

Twin sisters Lia and Alice Milthorpe have just become orphans. They have also become enemies. As they discover their roles in a prophecy that has turned generations of sisters against each other, they find themselves entangled in a mystery that involves a tattoo-like mark, their parents’ deaths, a boy, a book, and a lifetime of secrets.

GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

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About GUARDIAN OF THE GATE

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: August 1, 2012
Formats: Hardcover, paperback, eBook

The ultimate battle between sisters is nearing, and its outcome could have catastrophic consequences. As sixteen year-old Lia Milthorpe searches for a way to end the prophecy, her twin sister Alice hones the skills she’ll need to defeat Lia. Alice will stop at nothing to reclaim her sister’s role in the prophecy, and that’s not the only thing she wants: There’s also Lia’s boyfriend James.

Lia and Alice always knew the Prophecy would turn those closest to them against them. But they didn’t know what betrayal could lead them to do. In the end, only one sister will be left standing.

GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

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About CIRCLE OF FIRE

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: August 3, 2011
Formats: Hardcover, paperback, eBook

With time dwindling but her will to end the Prophecy stronger than ever, Lia sets out on a journey to find the remaining keys, locate the missing pages of the Prophecy, and convince her sister Alice to help–or risk her life trying. Lia has her beloved Dimitri by her side, but Alice has James, the man who once loved her sister–and maybe still does. James doesn’t know the truth about either sister, or the prophecy that divides them. And Alice intends to keep it that way.

There are some secrets sisters aren’t meant to share. Because when they do, it destroys them. This stunning conclusion to Michelle Zink’s Prophecy of the Sisters trilogy will make saying good-bye bittersweet for readers.

GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

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The Novellas

Prophecy-of-the-Sisters-Novellas

About WHISPER OF SOULS

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: June 5, 2012
Format: eBook

Before Prophecy of the Sisters, before Alice and Lia became pawns in the curse that turned sister against sister, the burden of the prophecy belonged to their mother, Adelaide. This is her story.

Adelaide Milthorpe is losing her grip on sanity. She is a Gate-a human portal to the Otherworlds, destined to bring forth Samael, the most powerful demon of all time, and his Lost Souls. Prowling the halls of Birchwood Manor, Adelaide is haunted by the whispers of the otherworldly Souls, who seek to use her for entry into the real world, where they would wreak havoc and rule beside their leader, Samael, in chaos. Their pleas plague her, torture her, tempt her. Samael calls to her, his promise of peace in the Otherworlds increasingly difficult to resist. And the stakes are high, for if Adelaide gives in to his urgings, her two daughters will inherit the same curse, forcing them to make the same impossible choice as they, too, are cast in the roles of Guardian and Gate.

In this novella that delves further into the Prophecy, Adelaide’s struggle to reconcile her two worlds as she descends into madness will captivate fans of the Prophecy of the Sisters series and new readers alike.

GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

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About MISTRESS OF SOULS

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: June 19, 2012
Format: eBook

After the tragic events of Prophecy of the Sisters, Lia Milthorpe fled New York, leaving her twin behind. While Lia was in London, preparing for the battle ahead, Alice spent months isolated in Birchwood, her story of solitude untold. Until now.

Alice Milthorpe is alone. Now that her sister Lia has left Birchwood, her brother dead, her family gone, there is no one to keep Alice from the Dark Room. She spends entire days and nights there, willing her spirit to travel to the Otherworlds where the Souls welcome her, where the demon Samael gives her the companionship she so desperately desires.

Yet she does not belong in the Otherworlds. Whether she likes it or not, she belongs in the physical world, tethered to a role in the prophecy she does not want and a world she is not truly a part of. But when a chance encounter with James, her sister’s abandoned fiancé, sparks a fragile friendship, Alice begins to think that she is not as alone as she thought – and that maybe there is a reason to anchor herself to the physical world after all.

GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

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About RISE OF SOULS

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: July 3, 2012
Format: eBook

The third of three haunting novella spin-offs to Prophecy of the Sisters to be published as e-books.

The Gate to the mortal world is finally closed. Lia Milthorpe has settled with her husband on Altus, the land that bridges the gap between the Otherworlds and the physical one.

Samael’s banishment has brought prosperity to the land, and no one is happier than Una Whelan. For the first time in centuries, those who live on the island–including Una and her suitor, Fenris–can do so in peace. Or so they thought.

This novella reveals what happens to Lia, Dimitri, and Altus after Circle of Fire, the final book in the Prophecy of the Sisters trilogy. If you thought there was a happy ending, think again.

GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

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giveaway

What’s Up for Grabs

Giveaway #1: An ARC of THIS WICKED GAME + a paperback copy of A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS to ONE winner – US ONLY

Giveaway #2: Winner’s choice of one of author Michelle Zink’s books (or a pre-order of THIS WICKED GAME) to TWO winners – International

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The Deets

– You must be 13 or older to enter

– Giveaway #1 will have ONE winner (US only)

– Giveaway #2 will have TWO winners (International)

– ALL giveaways end on August 31st at 11:59 p.m. Pacific

– ALL winners will be chosen by Random via Rafflecopter

– Giveaway #1 prizes will be sent directly from the author

– Giveaway #2 books will be ordered from Amazon or The Book Depository

– Giveaway #2 books can be in either hardcover, paperback or eBook formats

For each giveaway there is a mandatory “Leave a Comment” entry. All other entries are optional. The tweet entry is a daily option.

Giveaway #1

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway #2

a Rafflecopter giveaway


The Extras: Teasers #11

There are so many amazing books out there – released or soon-to-be-released – that have certain passages that just captivate.

Here are just a few of those that caught my attention in the past few months.

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I had quite a few favorite passages that I bookmarked in Forgiven. Many of them were sarcastic, because I always love the sarcastic quotes, but some were of the breathtaking, heart-stopping variety.

I shared one of my favorite passages in my review, but this passage is such a tease I couldn’t resist….

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Riley and….

Riley could feel his breath in her hair now, smell his aftershave. She inhaled deeply, memorizing his scent. The faint touch of his lips came a second before the sharp blast of an air horn.

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Sweet Evil is one of my absolute favorite reads of 2012. There was so much sweetness and a whole heck of a lot of evil. Wickedly delicious this book was. Oh, yes.

While I refrained from revealing anything too torturous in my review, I couldn’t help but post one of the more delectable passages in this edition of The Extras.

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Anna and….

He was kissing me. On my neck. I should stop him, I thought, but the softness of his mouth was so . . . Oh. I could feel the beauty of each crease on his lips as they rested against the pores of my skin. The only sounds in the room were our beating hearts and breath.

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As the series ending book, Destined had so many amazingly tease-worthy passages. I chose a much less teaser-y passage for my review, but thought I could get away with being just a little bit more revealing here.

Besides, Destined is on shelves now, so it’s not like anyone couldn’t just grab a copy and devour all the amazing passages.

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Laurel and….

And then his hand was on her wrist, and he was pulling her to him. His eyes were hard and his grip on her arm was tight as he placed one hand on the side of her neck, the way he used to do. She could feel his heart racing in his chest as she brought her face close, then pressed her mouth to his.

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A Temptation of Angels was absolutely gorgeous. The writing was gorgeous. The story was gorgeous. Which meant that there were so many passages to choose from.

In my review I chose one that was just hot enough to get your pule racing. Well this is the passage right before that one. And with all that it implies, it is rather full of promise. Oh yes, totally tantalizing. But that’s okay, because this is the teaser post after all….

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Helen and….

“Helen.” She felt his hand close over hers, pulling her back toward him. His eyes dropped the length of her body, and she realized she was still in the thin nightdress. And standing right in front of the fire. When he spoke again, his voice was low. “You’re not disturbing me.”

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There were just so many awesome, horrific, chilling, amazing passages in Fugitives. Which didn’t make choosing a passage easy. Not by a long shot.

But I happened to have two favorite non-spoiler-y ones. One I included with my review. And the other I’m keeping all to myself. Because I just couldn’t let the opportunity pass me by to include one of the more chilling passages instead.

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Their mouths were twisted up into grins, teeth bared, and fat, black-veined tongues slopping away at the mess that dribbled down their chins. And in the soulless depths of those inkwell eyes I saw nothing but glee.

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The writing in Masque of the Red Death was beautiful and haunting. I could eat it up with a spoon it was so yummy. The words just melted, dissolved and became air that just drifted away.

I did include a favorite passage of mine with my review, but it wasn’t the only amazing passage in this book. There were still so many breathtaking passages to choose from that picking just one wasn’t easy. And I almost chose one that was a bit more revealing, but to keep the air of mystery I ultimately chose this one….

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Araby and….

He looks at me like he does in the darkness of the club. His eyes are half closed, and there’s something almost languid in his movements. He raises my chin and gazes into my eyes for a long time. He slides his hands under the coat until they rest on my bare shoulders….

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Oh, if I could quote ninety percent of this book I would. There were just so many seriously awesome passages to choose from in Insurgent. I had a hard enough time narrowing down my favorites for my review post, so I chose two. But that by no means implies that they were the only passages I loved.

And as I had just as difficult a time choosing one for this post, I caved and chose two more. What can I say? I love this book.

Besides, they’re both short. It’s not like I chose the passage that starts, “His mouth moves against mine….” Now, that would have been a longer, way more intense teaser.

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Tris and….

He kisses me again, more insistent this time, his hands squeezing my waist. His breaths, my breaths, his body, my body, we are so close there is no difference.

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And….

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Tris….

I turn my face into the pillow and release, instead of his name, a sob that throws my body against the mattress. I feel the monster of grief again, writing in the empty space where my heart and stomach used to be.

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My most recent read is Darkness Before Dawn and so I haven’t chosen a favorite passage for my review just yet. Which means that I get to tease a passage here first, revealing one a little more tantalizing than I might otherwise include in my review.

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Dawn and Michael….

“Yeah, we definitely have moments.”

And then he kisses me again. I want this moment to go on forever, just Michael and me, lost in a world where nothing exists except for each other. Where passion consumes us. The kiss becomes more, becomes everything, feeding our desire for each other. I never want to leave him.

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And I just couldn’t resist teasing a little bit more from this same scene, just moments later….

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Dawn and Michael….

Michael’s hold on me tightens, as though he can stop the passage of time, the clocks from counting off the seconds, the world from revolving.

But beyond the wall, Valentine waits. Nothing Michael does can change that. All I can do is hope that this won’t be the last time we’re together.

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Well, I suppose that’s all. Eight teased books are more than enough for just one post. Though I am so tempted to tease a couple passages from Embers & Echoes and Shadow Bound.

But as neither of these two books have been released, I figure the teasing can wait. Though it is so very, very tempting.


Book Watch: Releasing This Week #64

Below are the YA books coming out this week that I am spotlighting for my “Book Watch: Releasing This Week” post.

These are books for the week of March 20th-March 26th that I have pre-ordered.

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Loss by Jackie Morse Kessler will be released in the U.S. on March 20, 2012 in paperback and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order in both formats at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Published by Graphia, the print edition is 272 pages.

Loss is the third book in the Riders of the Apocalypse series by author Jackie Morse Kessler.

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Wow. The description for this book sounds incredible. I read the second book in the series, Rage, and thought it was amazing. Dark, yes, but powerful. And it really made me think.

And Loss sounds like it might be just as thought-provoking. But it also sounds like there’s a bit of a journey and an adventure. And the outcome seems as if it might be just a bit more hopeful.

Just from reading the description, I already sympathize with Billy’s struggle. Being bullied by not only the students, but also the teachers, gives him nowhere to turn. I am rooting for Billy to gain the courage he needs to defeat the White Rider and the strength to stand up for himself against anyone who bullies him.

I can’t wait to get the chance to read this next book in the series. I have Loss pre-ordered for my Kindle, but I will be picking up a finished copy as I have the first two books in the series in print, signed by the author, and I’d love to have this one in my collection even though it won’t be a signed copy.

A Temptation of Angels by Michelle Zink will be released in the U.S. on March 20, 2012 in hardcover and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in both formats at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Published by Dial Books for Young Readers, an imprint of the Penguin Group, the print edition is 448 pages.

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I am so excited that A Temptation of Angels will be releasing this week. I reviewed it last week based on an ARC I received, so I already know that this book is amazing. So, of course I have the eBook pre-ordered for my Kindle so it can become part of my permanent collection. Although if the cover on the finished copy is as gorgeous as the cover on the ARC, I will be ordering the print edition, too.

I am a huge fan of the author, Michelle Zink. Her writing has a beauty and a flow that I find magical. And she brings that style to A Temptation of Angels which gives it a very different feel from many of the other books in the genre that I’ve read.

I won’t go on and on as I usually do speculating about the book, since I’ve read and reviewed it. But I will just say that I thought the story was incredible, I loved the main character, Helen Cartwright, and I absolutely adored Griffin Channing.

And while I am thrilled to be getting my Kindle eBook this week, I would be even happier knowing that there was another book in the series planned.

The Secret Circle: The Divide created by L.J. Smith and written by Aubrey Clark will be released in the U.S. on March 20, 2012 in hardcover and eBook formats. It is currently available online to pre-order in both formats at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Published by HarperTeen, the print edition is 304 pages.

The Divide is the fourth book in The Secret Circle series created by L.J. Smith.

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I actually haven’t read the series yet, but a few years back when I became a fan of the author, L.J. Smith, I bought the books for my Kindle in the hopes of reading them. And while this book isn’t written by the same author, I want to have this book in my collection to make comparisons when I do eventually get a chance to read them all.

So, while I did pre-order The Divide for my Kindle, I won’t be reading it until I get caught up on this series. But I did sneak a peek at the description, which makes this book sound very exciting. And very much like the television show, of which I am a fan.

It will be interesting to see just how different this next book in the series is, versus the author/creator’s books. L.J. Smith definitely has a unique voice and so I can’t imagine this book having quite the same feel. But I’m still curious to see just where the series leads.

The description paints a pretty dire situation for Cassie Blake and for her entire Circle. I hope she will be able to save herself and her Circle and that it will be intact when the next book in the series, The Hunt, releases in September.

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{Note: All covers link to the books on Goodreads}

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I know I’m missing a YA book or two that are releasing this week. I just know it. There can’t just be three books releasing on Tuesday. While I know that there are a ton of books releasing in April and May, I still thought I’d have at least four new books to add to the permanent pile this week.

But I am super psyched that I have only one book on order this week that I’m adding to my more immediate TBR pile. As I just read A Temptation of Angels and I am not caught up on The Secret Circle series, they aren’t on my TBR right now list. Though I’m sure I’ll be reading A Temptation of Angels again in the near future and I really want to get started reading TSC.

Well, if I am missing a few books to buy, hopefully I’ll discover them while stalking my favorite blogs this week.

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As always, I would love to hear what you’re hoping to add to your collection this week!

And if you have any great suggestions of “must read” books to buy that are releasing this week, please let me know!


Review: A Temptation of Angels

A Temptation of Angels by Michelle Zink will be released in the U.S. on March 20, 2012 in hardcover and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in both formats at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Published by Dial Books for Young Readers, an imprint of the Penguin Group, the print edition is 448 pages.

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Goodreads description:

Even angels make mistakes in this page-turning epic romance…

When her parents are murdered before her eyes, sixteen-year-old Helen Cartwright finds herself launched into an underground London where a mysterious organization called the Dictata controls the balance of good and evil. Helen learns that she is one of three remaining angelic descendants charged with protecting the world’s past, present, and future. Unbeknownst to her, she has been trained her whole life to accept this responsibility. Now, as she finds herself torn between the angelic brothers protecting her and the devastatingly handsome childhood friend who wants to destroy her, she must prepare to be brave, to be hunted, and above all to be strong, because temptation will be hard to resist, even for an angel.

Michelle Zink masterfully weaves historical fantasy with paranormal romance to create a gripping tale of love and betrayal.

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In an instant and without warning, everything Helen Cartwright ever knew and everyone she ever loved was taken away.

Forced to flee her home in the dead of night, leaving nearly all of her worldly possessions behind, in order to find sanctuary in the home of strangers was only just the beginning.

The world she thought she knew wasn’t as it seemed. There was another world, a secret and dangerous world, that she was a part of. One where she had enemies. One where she had abilities. And one where she was being hunted.

With time running out, Helen must quickly come to grips with her new reality, recover from her shocking losses and master the skills she’d need in order to stay safe. To stay hidden. And most of all to stay alive.

Because her survival meant much more than just her life. It meant the protection of the world’s past, its present and its future.

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A Temptation of Angels is a gorgeous, intricately detailed, beautifully told and incredibly alluring story set in a secret and deadly world with intriguing characters, a mystery to be unraveled and the ever-present threat of danger.

This story of the descendants of angels who are entrusted as the world’s protectors will ensnare readers from its opening pages. The introduction to Helen Cartwright and her last moments of ignorance of the world she is an important part of is suspenseful and heartbreaking and will entice readers to discover what the rest of the book has in store for her.

And that is a world that is both exciting and dangerous. A world where she is being pursued by an unknown enemy. A world where demons can travel through the light and where she must quickly master the weapons that will defeat them. A world where she is forced to put her trust in two strangers and someone from her past who isn’t worthy of that trust.

And a world where her survival, and that of the other protectors, is absolutely crucial.

Michelle Zink has created a story that has such a wonderful cadence to it, making it just so easy to get caught up in the adventure and the mystery and to fall in love with it and her characters. Characters who are incredibly likable, honorable and fearless. Or evil, vile and ruthless. Or who fall somewhere in between and are hoping to find forgiveness and redemption.

A Temptation of Angels is a story that will transport readers to a London of the past. To a hidden world where evil is on the verge of winning out over good. Where the protectors of the world’s past, present and future are at the brink of extinction. And where one girl has to choose whether to give in without a fight or accept who she is and what she’s capable of and prepare for a battle that could cost her everything.

Reviewer gives this book…

On a personal note:

What an amazing and beautifully written story this was. But I didn’t expect anything less from the author. It was so wonderfully descriptive and rich that I could almost taste the words. And I was instantly captivated.

This story was so utterly enchanting from start to finish that I did devour it in just one sitting. And I found that I became so deeply entrenched in the story that the world just built itself right around me and I was transported back in time to the London where Helen, Griffin and Darius were fighting for their survival.

The book was so incredibly detailed that it felt as if I was there with Helen, seeing what she did, feeling what she felt, hearing what she heard and even smelling what she smelled. And let me tell you that was not always an ideal situation to be in.

From the smoke and fire to the filth beneath the streets of London to the weight of the sickle in her hand to the slice of the blade across her skin, it was as if I were experiencing what Helen did. I was right there, in the moment, with the story and the characters. Which made it incredibly tough to pull away once the book had ended.

Helen was a pretty incredible heroine. She wasn’t perfect, but she was brave and smart and independent. And she was more than ready to jump into the action rather than stand back and let someone else be her protector. She may have been stubborn and a little bit reckless, but she wasn’t foolish. She thought about her choices, she just didn’t always choose the safest route.

And I loved Helen’s parents. From the little bits and pieces revealed about who they were and what they did for Helen, I thought they were so amazing. To me they were the heroes in this story. They gave Helen the tools to fight for herself, to be brave when she needed to be brave and to carry on even when she might otherwise have been on the brink of despair.

And then of course there’s Griffin. Totally swoon-worthy Griffin. He, too, was incredibly brave and strong and smart. He was kind but he was definitely not a pushover. He was tough but not too tough. And he was willing to keep an open mind even if it tore him up inside and broke his heart a little.

I think I loved every single thing about this book – from the characters to the story to the world to the writing. But – yes there’s a but – I definitely want to know more. More about the Keepers. More about the Alliance. More about the Syndicate. More about the Dictata. More about what Enlightenment is. And definitely more about all things Griffin.

While I’m not too sure I want there to be more story about the other boy, he is a mystery. And I wouldn’t mind finding out more about his past even if I don’t want him to be a part of Helen’s future.

A Temptation of Angels was very different than what I anticipated from the description. However, it was very much in keeping with the author’s writing style, so I wasn’t surprised.

While the description seemed to imply a breakneck pace and a torturous love triangle, this book had neither and was all the better because of it. The pace was unhurried but not slow. It was actually perfectly paced to allow me to become lost in the world. And the love story was definitely not a firm and fast triangle. Though I will say no more about that so as not to spoil anything.

I am keeping all my fingers crossed that there will be a sequel or perhaps that this amazing story will become a trilogy. I think there’s much to learn about the past, the present and the future of these characters, their abilities and their world.

***

There were so many amazing passages in this book, and an incredible one that is my absolute favorite though it’s much too spoiler-y to include here. But I think this one is just perfect and it made my heart beat just a little faster:

His eyes locked on hers, an ocean of silence moving between them. She had an almost uncontrollable desire to reach up, entwining her fingers in the hair at the back of his neck. To run her palms against the hard expanse of his bare chest.

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Sneak Peeks and Meet the Characters

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To check out a SNEAK PEEK of A Temptation of Angels on Michelle Zink’s blog, click here.

To check out an EXCERPT from A Temptation of Angels, click here.

If you’d like to meet HELEN CARTWRIGHT, click here.

If you’d like to meet GRIFFIN CHANNING, click here.

If you’d like to meet DARIUS CHANNING, click here.

If you’d like to meet ANNA, click here.

To check out an excerpt of Helen and Griffin training with the sickle, click here.

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Book trailer for A Temptation of Angels:

This review is based on an ARC I received from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.


The Extras: March

Yes we’re back with another “Extras” post after a bit of a hiatus in December, January and February. As some of you may already know…

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Whenever I find either a legal free download, an excerpt or sneak peek of a book online, I try to link to it in a related post or include the link in my sidebar (to your right).

But when I can, I’ll pop them into a post for a “one-stop shop” with a brief description. You may have previously seen some of these in my sidebar and one or two may still be lingering, well here they are once more in case you missed them. (My sidebar tends to have a LOT of info.)

We have a few peeks at upcoming releases, just released books and some of them are just items that have been offered for free for awhile but you might have missed.

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March Peeks

Balthazar by Claudia Gray will be released in the U.S. on March 6, 2012.

It is a spin-off novel in the author’s Evernight series about her very adorable character of the same name.

Balthazar sounds like the perfect way to get another look at the world and to learn more about this amazing character. The description hints that there will be a peek into his past, a forbidden love story and a fight against evil. Sounds pretty awesome.

To take a nice long look inside, courtesy of HarperTeen, CLICK HERE.

Rivals by Lauren Kunze and Rina Onur will be released in the U.S. on March 6, 2012.

Rivals is the third book in The Ivy series by the authors.

I own the first two books in the series and I am excited about this next book’s release. While I haven’t yet read the books, this series just sounds like so much fun.

This third book in the series, as you may have guessed from the title, is about rivalries. And there’ s nothing quite as exciting to read about in contemporary fiction as those. And according to the description, Callie Andrews is going to have to make a few choices which are likely to have some undesirable consequences.

To get just a taste, thanks to HarperTeen, CLICK HERE.

Where it Began by Ann Redisch Stampler will be released in the U.S. on March 6, 2012.

Where it Began is the author’s young adult debut.

Firstly, this book cover is beautiful. Secondly, the story sounds unbelievably intriguing. I want to know just what happened to Gabby and Billy the night he went missing. I want to find out if she’ll be able to get her life back. Or if she’ll want it back after she takes a longer look at just what kind of life she was really living.

And I want to know exactly what changes when Gabby faces the truth.

To get a peek inside courtesy of Simon & Schuster, CLICK HERE.

Vampire’s Kiss by Veronica Wolff will be released in the U.S. on March 6, 2012.

Vampire’s Kiss is the second book in The Watchers series by the author. The third book, Blood Fever, is due out in August of this year.

In this sequel, Drew has completed her first year of training to be a Watcher on the Isle of Night and she now has to go undercover to try and save another Watcher who is being tortured. One who is apparently gorgeous and a bad boy, according to the description.

Yeah, this series just sounds awesome – sexy bad boy vampires. Enough said.

To check out a nice, long, downloadable excerpt of Chapter One from the author’s website, CLICK HERE.

Soul Bound by Mari Mancusi will be released in the U.S. on March 6, 2012.

Soul Bound is the seventh book in the Blood Coven series by author Mari Mancusi.

This is such an entertaining series to read. I love that the books switch between Sunny and Rayne’s stories. And in Soul Bound, it’s Rayne’s turn. And according to the description, in this installment she’s being sent to find her sister and Magnus “alive…or undead.”

Rayne has a major conflict of interest – find her sister and risk Sunny’s life or refuse and put her own in jeopardy. Not ideal. And with the words “ultimate sacrifice” jumping out at me from the description, it makes me very eager to find out how this story ends.

To check out an excerpt from the book’s website, CLICK HERE.

To check out a SPOILER-Y one on Goodreads if you haven’t read Blood Ties, CLICK HERE.

Illuminate by Aimee Agresti will be released in the U.S. on March 6, 2012.

Illuminate is the first book in the Gilded Wings series by the author.

This cover is beautiful. It was the first thing that drew me to this book. But once I got past my cover love, I realized that this story sounds seriously awesome.

A girl, Haven Terra, is sent to intern at a luxury hotel in Chicago. The owners aren’t mere hoteliers, however. They purchase souls. And they’re looking to recruit her into helping them take the souls of her schoolmates on prom night.

I am so curious to find out just how Haven plans to stop them… or if she plans to stop them. And I can’t wait to find out the meaning behind the series name, Gilded Wings.

To check out a short excerpt from the publisher, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt,  CLICK HERE.

Katana by Cole Gibsen will be released in the U.S. on March 8, 2012.

Katana is the author’s young adult debut.

A book about a sword-fighting heroine with dreams of Japan in the 15th century sounds very different and wickedly awesome. I’m curious to see whether Rileigh will decide to accept her warrior spirit or choose to live a normal life.

And I am very interested in reading about how Rileigh will handle all those “relentless” ninja attacks.

To get a peek inside, courtesy of Flux, CLICK HERE.

Pretty Crooked by Elisa Ludwig will be released in the U.S. on March 13, 2012.

Pretty Crooked is the author’s young adult debut.

I love the Robin Hood premise of this story – stealing from the rich prep school kids and giving to the scholarship students. Willa sounds like an absolutely lovable main character. And Aidan, her “complication” sounds like a very lovely distraction.

I can’t wait to read this book and find out whether Aidan is trustworthy or if Willa’s thefts are discovered by the Glitterati at Valley Prep or even the police. I’m already cheering for Willa.

To read an excerpt of the prologue at TeenReads CLICK HERE.

Starters by Lissa Price will be released in the U.S. on March 13, 2012.

Starters is the first book in a new series of the same name by the author. The second full-length book, Enders, will be released on December 12 of this year.

The chatter brought me to this book. And I’m so glad I didn’t miss hearing about it. The cover is eerie and different and oddly beautiful. And the tagline has definitely piqued my curiosity.

According to the description Callie is an orphan who goes on the run with her brother Tyler to try and get to Prime Destinations in Beverly Hills.

Prime Destinations is a “disturbing place” where apparently teens donate their bodies to old people – Enders – who want to recapture their youth. (Sounds about right for BH. And sounds completely disturbing.)

But then Callie “wakes up” to discover she’s living the life of luxury. Which would be fine except for the fact that the Ender who has rented her body has other things in mind.

This sounds absolutely chilling and a perfect kind of book for me. I can’t wait to check it out.

To take a look inside, courtesy of the publisher Delacorte Press, CLICK HERE.

And to check out the book on the publisher’s website, CLICK HERE.

The Vampire Diaries: The Hunters – Moonsong created by L.J. Smith will be released in the U.S. on March 13, 2012.

Moonsong is the second book in The Hunters series.

According to the description, in this installment, things seem to be going well for Elena, Stefan and Damon. At first. Until Dalcrest College students start to disappear.

While I have fallen behind on the series I am curious to find out just what dark secret Elena uncovers.

But if you’re all caught up on the series and you’d like to get a long look inside courtesy of HarperTeen, CLICK HERE.

Out of Sight, Out of Time by Ally Carter will be released in the U.S. on March 13, 2012.

Out of Sight, Out of Time is the fifth book in the Gallagher Girls series by the author.

I have not yet read this series, but it sounds like so much fun and the author is awesome. In this fifth book, according to the description, Cammie Morgan has lost quite a bit of her memory. It’s months later and she has no recollection of what happened to her.

Still, she returns to Gallagher Academy to try to unravel the mystery. But apparently the Circle of Cavan is determined to keep her in the dark.

To get a peek of Chapter One from the author’s website, CLICK HERE.

Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard will be released in the U.S. on March 13, 2012.

Wanderlove is the author’s sophomore young adult novel.

This book sounds absolutely gorgeous. The description had me right from the lines: “Bria’s a good girl trying to go bad. Rowan’s a bad boy trying to stay good.” And I love the question posited at the beginning… “Are you a Global Vagabond?”

This story sounds magical and these two characters are ones I very much look forward to meeting in this novel which takes the characters and the readers on a journey.

To read a short excerpt from the publisher’s website, CLICK HERE.

A Temptation of Angels by Michelle Zink releases in the U.S. on March 20, 2012.

Descendants of angels. Protectors of “the world’s past, present, and future.” An organization that maintains the balance of good and evil. Betrayal. And, of course, temptation. This book sounds simply amazing.

This new hopefully-not-a-standalone novel by author Michelle Zink is a blend of paranormal romance and historical fantasy, according to the description, and one that’s definitely worth checking out.

To take a sneak peek, courtesy of the author, on Goodreads, CLICK HERE.

Goddess Interrupted by Aimee Carter will be released in the U.S. on March 27, 2012.

Goddess Interrupted is the sequel to the Goddess Test by the author. The third book in the series, The Goddess Inheritance will be published later this year. And a short novella set between books one and two, The Goddess Hunt, was released in eBook format on March 1.

Things are not going smoothly for Kate and Henry. She’s falling in love with him and he seems to be drifting away, according to the description. And it gets even better. He gets abducted by the King of the Titans and in order to save him, Kate has to work with Henry’s ex, Persephone.

Immortality never sounded so challenging. But this sequel sounds so very exciting.

To read an excerpt courtesy of Harlequin, CLICK HERE.

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January and February Peeks

And just in case you missed them, here are just a few peeks at some of those awesome books that released earlier this year. Just click on the covers to browse inside.

Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver released February 28, 2012

Partials by Dan Wells released on February 28, 2012

A Touch Morbid by Leah Clifford released on February 28, 2012

Faery Tales & Nightmares by Melissa Marr released on February 21, 2012

Dead to You by Lisa McMann released on February 7, 2012

Two Truths and a Lie by Sara Shepard released on February 7, 2012

Wings of the Wicked released on January 31, 2012

Incarnate by Jodi Meadows released on January 31, 2012

Everneath by Brodi Ashton released on January 24, 2012
Forbidden by Syrie James and Ryan M. James released on January 24, 2012

Havoc by Jeff Sampson released on January 24, 2012

Hallowed by Cynthia Hand released on January 17, 2012

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green released January 10, 2012

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi released January 3, 2012
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And be sure to check out Pitch Dark Days for downloadable chapter excerpts from…
Balthazar
Bewitching
Everneath
Hallowed
Incarnate
The Last Echo (coming soon)
Magic of the Moonlight
Pandemonium
Shatter Me
Slide (coming soon)
Under the Never Sky
Wings of the Wicked
… and for links to their free eBook samplers.
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And the always awesome HarperCollins is giving readers a look at THIS ENTIRE and ENTIRELY AMAZING book…. 

Divergent by Veronica Roth released in paperback on February 28, 2012

(Originally published May 3, 2011 in hardcover)

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With so many sneak peeks available this March I haven’t had a chance to stalk the Amazon or Barnes & Noble eBook freebies. But I hope I’ve included few excerpts for books coming up this March, or already released, that you might enjoy.

Sadly I was not able to track down excerpts for Spell Bound by Rachel Hawkins, The Savage Grace by Bree Despain – which was available for just two days back in October and which I missed – and Loss by Jackie Morse Kessler, just to name a few.

Anyway… Happy freebie reading!

 


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