Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

Features

Daily Deals: Is it Asian American month? A couple lit fics along with vampire romances and young adults pulled apart

Daily Deals: Is it Asian American month? A couple lit fics...

Shattered Ties by K.A. RobinsonShattered Ties (The Ties Series) by K.A. Robinson. $ .99

From the Jacket Copy:

With a former supermodel mother and a rock-and-roll legend father, Emma Preston has the best of everything. Nothing is as perfect as it seems though. After her parents divorce, she’s forced to live with her mother in a private Santa Monica community. Ignoring their parental roles, her mother becomes more focused on climbing the social ladder while her father is off on tour.

Growing up in a trailer park with his mother, Jesse is used to people looking down on him. When his mother begs him to submit an application for a scholarship to one of Santa Monica’s top private schools, he never expects to actually get it. When he does, he is forced to attend school with a bunch of rich kids. He ignores their stares as they judge him for having tattoos and a less than impressive car. As long as he has his surfboard and the guys at the tattoo shop, he knows he can make it through.

When Jesse shows up on the first day of school, Emma can’t help but be intrigued. Her mother would never approve of Emma talking to someone so poor, but she doesn’t care because something about Jesse draws her to him.

Jesse tries to hate Emma, but he discovers that he can’t resist her. Forced to hide their relationship from Emma’s mother and everyone else around them, things start to fall apart. When Jesse’s friend, Ally, decides to interfere, things go from bad to worse.

Can they survive their first love? Or will they be left with nothing more than shattered ties?

Book 1 of a 2 book series.

But it is a cliffhanger and the story ends abruptly. You have to buy the second book to get the conclusion.

AmazonBNSony KoboBook DepositoryAREApple Google

Vamps and the City (Love at Stake, Book 2)  by Kerrelyn SparksVamps and the City by Kerrelyn Sparks. $ 1.99

From the Jacket Copy:

Who says a vamp can’t have it all?

Darcy Newhart thought it was a stroke of genius—the first–ever reality TV show where mortals vie with vampires for the title of The Sexiest Man on Earth. As the show’s director, Darcy’s career would be on track again. And she can finally have a life apart from the vampire harem. Okay, so she’s still technically dead, but two out of three’s not bad. Now she just has to make sure that a mortal doesn’t win. If only she wasn’t so distracted by a super–sexy and live contestant named Austin…

But Darcy doesn’t know the worst of it. Austin Erickson is actually a vampire slayer! And he’s got his eye on the show’s leggy blond director. Only problem is, he’s never wanted any woman—living or dead—as badly. But if he wins her heart, will he lose his soul? And if it means an eternity of hot, passionate loving with Darcy, does that really matter anyway?

The “Love at Stake” series is on sale for $1.99 each.

Book 1: How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire (Love at Stake, Book 1)
Book 2: Vamps and the City (Love at Stake, Book 2)
Book 3: Be Still My Vampire Heart (Love at Stake, Book 3)
Book 4: The Undead Next Door (Love at Stake, Book 4)

AmazonBNSonyKoboBook DepositoryAREAppleGoogle

The Dissident by Nell FreudenbergerThe Dissident by Nell Freudenberger. $ 1.99

From the Jacket Copy:

From the PEN/Malamud Award-winning author of Lucky Girls comes an intricately woven novel about secrets, love, art, identity, and the shining chaos of every day American life.

Yuan Zhao, a celebrated Chinese performance artist and political dissident, has accepted a one-year artist’s residency in Los Angeles. He is to be a Visiting Scholar at the St. Anselm’s School for Girls, teaching advanced art, and hosted by one of the school’s most devoted families: the wealthy if dysfunctional Traverses. The Traverses are too preoccupied with their own problems to pay their foreign guest too much attention, and the dissident is delighted to be left alone—his past links with radical movements give him good reason to avoid careful scrutiny. The trouble starts when he and his American hosts begin to view one another with clearer eyes.

I don’t know. Is March Asian American month? PW writes “Freudenberger juxtaposes Zhao’s early artist days in the East and his unrequited love for the woman he left behind with his solitary life in Los Angeles, where he grows obsessed with a Chinese art student. Under a blanket of cultural misunderstandings and xenophobia, Freudenberger tackles big questions about art: what makes an artist; how artists and writers borrow from each other; and how they appropriate details from the lives of their friends and families. Freudenberger sometimes missteps into humdrum Hollywood satire and uninspired relationship drama, but Zhao is distinctly fresh; it’s when describing his journey that Freudenberger’s novel takes flight”

AmazonBNSonyKoboBook DepositoryAREApple Google

The Gods of Heavenly Punishment by Jennifer Cody EpsteinThe Gods of Heavenly Punishment by Jennifer Cody Epstein. $ 1.99.

From the Jacket Copy:

“Showcases war’s bitter ironies . . . as well as its romantic serendipities.”—Vogue
In this evocative and thrilling epic novel, fifteen-year-old Yoshi Kobayashi, child of Japan’s New Empire, daughter of an ardent expansionist and a mother with a haunting past, is on her way home on a March night when American bombers shower her city with napalm—an attack that leaves one hundred thousand dead within hours and half the city in ashen ruins. In the days that follow, Yoshi’s old life will blur beyond recognition, leading her to a new world marked by destruction and shaped by those considered the enemy: Cam, a downed bomber pilot taken prisoner by the Imperial Japanese Army; Anton, a gifted architect who helped modernize Tokyo’s prewar skyline but is now charged with destroying it; and Billy, an Occupation soldier who arrives in the blackened city with a dark secret of his own. Directly or indirectly, each will shape Yoshi’s journey as she seeks safety, love, and redemption.

This is an epic story following several different characters both pre and post the war focusing on how experiencing the war can change those.

“The Gods of Heavenly Punishment is set during WWII, and specifically focuses on the American firebombing of Tokyo in 1942 and 1945. We are introduced to Yoshi Kobayashi, the daughter of an expansionist; Cam, a bomber pilot taken prisoner by the Japanese; and Anton, an American architect, who had helped build some of Tokyo’s modern buildings in the 1920s and `30s but is enlisted to build test structures for the American air force to practice.”

AmazonBNSonyKoboBook DepositoryAREApple Google

First Page: Working Title: Healer and Protector

First Page: Working Title: Healer and Protector

Welcome to First Page Saturday. Individual authors anonymously send a first page read and critiqued by the Dear Author community of authors, readers and industry others. Anyone is welcome to comment. You may comment anonymously. You can submit your own First Page using this form.


 

Calia lifted a wide leather belt from the drawer and traced her hand over the intricately carved patterns.  Four months had passed since the death of her bondmate, and she was still only slowly packing his things into baskets to be stored in the cellar.  She stared at his ceremonial belt and tried to picture him standing tall beside her, rather than seeing his body lying a hundred feet below the mountain pass where the search party, including her, had found him.  They had been too late.  She was a powerful Healer, but not even she could heal the dead.

A soft knock and the voice of her Protector interrupted her memories.  “Calia, you are needed.”

She laid the belt aside with a sigh and opened the front door.  “What is it, Tenal?”

“A messenger has arrived from the Plains.  He asked to speak with you.  A plague has attacked the city.”

Her green eyes widened and brightened as she instinctively touched the power within her.  She took off her apron, and smoothed her long, black hair as she stepped out of the house.  “Take me to him.”

Tenal stayed close by her side as they walked the road toward the center of the village.  “What kind of plague?” she asked.

“I don’t know.  As soon as he asked for you, I came to get you.  The Elder was going to take him to the meeting hall.”

They reached the central lodge, and Calia felt the tingling of Tenal’s shield encircle her.  His suspicion and mistrust of strangers were as much an innate part of him as were his raven hair and ice blue eyes.  As she was born to heal the bodies and minds of the Llyrian race, he was born to augment her abilities and to protect her from harm.

The Elder was standing inside the doorway of the meeting hall, and the visitor was seated at a table, drinking greedily from a glass of water.  He rose to his feet and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand when Tenal and Calia approached him.

“Healer, thank you for agreeing to see me,” the man said.

“Please sit down and finish your drink.  You may call me Calia.”

The stranger sat down and eyed Calia closely, then glanced nervously at Tenal, no doubt intimidated by the Protector’s size at several inches taller and broader than any other male of their race.  Looking back to her, the man introduced himself.  “I’m Bren of the Plains Circle.”

Calia sat down across from Bren, but Tenal continued to stand beside her, ever ready for any threat to her safety.  Calia said, “Tenal tells me you have traveled to our Forest Circle because of a plague in the city.  Your people still do not have a Healer?”

“No,” Bren answered.  “One has not been born to the Plains in almost a century.  I’ve come here at the request of the governor to ask for your help.  We’ve lost almost a hundred people already, and more grow sick every day.  We have physicians, but nothing they’ve done has made any difference.  Men, women, and children are all dying.”

His voice caught on the last word, and he bowed his head.  “Please, we’re overwhelmed.  We don’t know what to do but ask for your help.”

Calia laid a comforting hand over his and detected through her touch that Bren was free of the sickness.  “I will go to the city, but Tenal and I need time to pack supplies and ready for travel.  You can stay here tonight, and we’ll leave tomorrow morning.”