Monthly Archives:: February 2012

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Black City Cover Reveal + Giveaway (INTL)

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Black City
Elizabeth Richards 
Release date: November 13th, 2012
by G.P. Putnam’s Sons BYR

Add it to your Goodreads

Deep in the heartland of the United Sentry States are the burning ruins of the Black City, a melting pot simmering with hostility as humans and Darklings struggle to rebuild their lives in the aftermath of a brutal and bloody war. A wall now divides the city separating the two races. Trapped on the wrong side of the wall is sixteen-year-old hustler Ash Fisher, a half-blood Darkling who’ll do whatever it takes to survive, including selling his addictive venom ‘Haze’ to help support his dying mother.

Then there’s Natalie Buchanan, the daughter of the Sentry Emissary, who feels imprisoned by her life of privilege and fame. When their paths cross, they instantly detest each other but Ash is shocked when his once still heart starts to beat. Bonded by a mysterious connection, Ash and Natalie first deny and then struggle to fight their forbidden feelings for each other, knowing if they’re caught, they’ll be executed. Then Haze users start dying all over the city and Ash discovers the terrible truth behind his and Natalie’s mystical connection. Suddenly, city walls and the threat of execution become the least of their problems.

Elizabeth Richards is an award-winning journalist and debut author, who spent her early career writing for videogame publications such as CUBE, P2 and GamesTM,and now works as a website editor. Previously, she ran a successful lifestyle website aimed at teenage girls. She won the Jane Hayward Young Journalist of the Year award for her feature on girls in the games industry, and was named ‘Editor’s Choice’ in the industry trade magazine, MCV.

Wow! This cover is absolutely amazing. I love the colors, I love the details. It’s all really awesome! Plus, the cover totally matches my blog! The synopsis is pretty cool too you have to admit! If you agree, keep reading for a look at the first chapter and a chance to win!

1st Chapter of Black City
    An air raid siren wails in the distance, alerting Black City citizens to lock their doors and turn out the lights. They don’t want to be out in the dark alone. They might meet something dangerous. Something like me.
    I head under the canal bridge and wait for the girl, taking a packet of Sentry-regulation smokes from my back pocket and sparking up. The nicotine courses through my veins, making them throb with adrenaline; the sensation is almost like a pulse . . . almost.
    Footsteps approach the bridge, and a short girl with straggly black hair appears from the shadows, dressed in men’s work boots, tight black trousers and a tailcoat made from a patchwork of clashing fabrics. Her hazel eyes gaze up into mine. She’s brave. Not many cherry-poppers have the courage to look me in the eyes. She hands me an old playing card with two hearts on it, one red, one black. It’s my calling card. It seemed an appropriate choice; that’s what I’m selling her after all, an illusion of love. I slip it into the pocket of my dark green military jacket.
    “You’re late,” I say. “Last thing I need is to be caught out here after curfew by a Tracker. They’re just begging for a reason to throw me in jail.”
    “Sorry, they’ve put up extra checkpoints, stopping everyone. There’s tanks everywhere!” she babbles. “I guess they can’t be too careful with the Sentry Emissary back in the city, what with the boundary negotiations with the Legion and—”
    “You paid Beetle?” I interrupt.
    The girl nods.
    “Terms and conditions,” I say. “No refunds. You don’t enjoy it, you puke, you freak—not my problem, okay?”
    She nods again.
    “You pregnant?” She blushes furiously. “I’ll take that as a no. It may cause drowsiness, so don’t drive or operate any heavy machinery.” She smiles at this, and I grin. They always like that. “And no repeats for at least two weeks, all right? I mean it.”
    “That all?”
    “No kissing. Strictly business, okay?”
    She seems a little disappointed by this, but I don’t like to mix business with pleasure. She shyly unbuttons the collar of her coat, revealing her slim, pale neck. Hunger grips my stomach at the sight.
    “What do I do?” she asks.
    “Lean back,” I say.
    She obeys like a good girl. I place a hand against the wall and slip my other hand between her thighs, gently easing her legs apart. Touching her doesn’t turn me on, but I groan like it does, knowing she’ll enjoy that. They all do, even the guys—it’s why they come to me instead of the Haze dens. I slide my body between her thighs so we’re face-to-face. Her shallow breaths are warm against my cool skin.
    “Relax, okay? It’s more enjoyable if you relax.”
    “My heart’s pounding a mile a minute.” She gives a nervous laugh.
    “Can’t say I know how that feels,” I admit.
    She tentatively presses a hand against my chest, and her eyes widen. “So it’s true, then? You don’t have a heart?”
    “I have a heart,” I growl, shoving her hard against the wall. It just doesn’t beat.
    A small tear snakes down her cheek, her thin lips trembling.
    “Sshhh, it’s okay, sweetheart. I didn’t mean to frighten you.” I gently wipe her tear away. “Forgive me?”
    She nods, then tilts her head to one side, exposing the smooth whiteness of her neck. The poison sacs behind my fangs swell with venom.
    Focus, Ash. Don’t blow your load.
    I lean toward her, pressing my lips against the soft flesh on her neck, just below her ear. Her pulse flutters under my lips, and I nearly lose it. I begin to nibble on the flesh, tickling the tiny hairs on her neck with my tongue, making them wet with my saliva.
    “Do it,” she whispers.
    So much for foreplay. I sink my fangs into her jugular. Hot blood spills over my tongue, making my taste buds burst with its sticky sweetness. Man, I love the newbies; they always taste the best. She sighs as my venom enters her bloodstream. I wait for the Haze to take effect before I start to drink from her. That’s the bonus of Haze; my clients get high from me, and I get high from them by drinking their drugged blood. It’s win-win.
    A sour, bitter flavor suddenly floods my mouth, and I gag, leaping back.
    “What the—” I spit up blood.
    The girl stares at me with glazed eyes, blood trickling down the two puncture wounds in her neck.
    “Everything’s sparkling,” she says dreamily.
    “Didn’t Beetle tell you I don’t take clients on meds?”
    She lurches toward me, and I grab her before she falls into the water.
    “I love you,” she slurs, trying to kiss me.
    I shove her, hard. She falls back against the wall and slides to the floor. Her eyes roll back into her head, and she begins to spasm, white foam bubbling out the corners of her mouth.
    “No, no, no! Wake up.” I kneel down and shake her, panic rushing through me.
    The girl jerks, her boots leaving black scuff marks on the cobblestones. Fragg! This is why I don’t take clients on meds. You can never tell how they’re going to react to the Haze. I shrug off my jacket and place it under her head.
    A Sentry tank rolls over the bridge, and I shut my eyes and wait for it to pass. Even though the war is officially over, I still get chills at that sound. Wherever they went, Death followed. I had a few close scrapes during the war. During those days, the fact that I was a legal citizen and half human didn’t mean much to them. If you weren’t 100 percent human, you were the enemy. Every day was a fight for survival. Not much has improved since then; I’m still the enemy in most people’s eyes. All they can see is the Darkling in me. The tank turns down Bleak Street toward the Sentry Emissary’s headquarters.
    The girl groans. It’s too dangerous here; I have to go. I could just leave her . . . No, that’s not an option, but I can’t take her to the hospital. I’d get in so much trouble.
    I peer down the canal. A yellow barge is moored about one hundred feet away. The lights are off. Where is he? He’s meant to be my wingman; that’s why I came to the bridge in the first place. Can this get any wor—
    An explosion of pain bursts inside my chest, and I clutch a hand over my lifeless heart. I sense someone behind me and turn.
    A girl stands by the entranceway, lit by the headlamps of a passing truck. In the fleeting light, I catch a glimpse of cornflower-blue eyes flicking between me and the Hazer writhing on the ground.
    Her gaze finally fixes on me.
    I fall back, struck down, as the pain in my chest blooms again.
    Shivers run through my body, rushing toward a single point in my chest. There’s a spark of electricity and then:
    A flutter.

Big thanks to Penguin Books for Young Readers who is very generously offering an ARC (physical) of Black City for giveaway to one of my readers.

The winner of this ARC will be added to a draw to win one of 5 exclusive and personalized drawings of the main characters—Ash and Natalie—drawn and autographed by the author.

Below is a sketch of the drawing. The finished drawing will be more polished and each one will be just a bit different, so each winner will receive an original and unique image. Winners of the drawings will be chosen at random by the author.

One advanced copy of Black City
Open internationally
Giveaway ends March 21st, 2012
Use the Rafflecopter below to enter

a Rafflecopter giveaway<a href=””>You need javascript enabled to see this giveaway</a>.

Waiting on Wednesday (25)

Posted by on 02/29/2012 • 68 Comments

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.  My pick this week:

The Lost Girl Sangu Mandanna Release date: August 28th, 2012 by Balzer + Bray Add it to your Goodreads

Eva’s life is not her own. She is a creation, an abomination – an echo. Made by the Weavers as a copy of someone else, she is expected to replace a girl named Amarra, her ‘other’, if she ever died. Eva studies what Amarra does, what she eats, what it’s like to kiss her boyfriend, Ray. So when Amarra is killed in a car crash, Eva should be ready.

But fifteen years of studying never prepared her for this.

Now she must abandon…

The Weeping Tour Stop

Posted by on 02/28/2012 • 34 Comments

Today I’m thrilled to have The Weeping blog tour visiting Xpresso Reads for a super fun post. First I’ll be showing you my thoughts on this book so you all get to see what it’s about. Then I’ll be showing you O’Dell’s dream cast – which actors he’d love to see playing the roles of his characters. There is also a fabulous giveaway at the end! I’m telling you, this is one awesome day!


The WeepingO’Dell Hutchison Release date: March 6th, 2012by  H, C & B Publishing

Goodreads / Purchase

Twenty years ago, Catherine Whitley was the victim of a horrible crime. Betrayed by her friends, including the boy she loved, she was left to die when the Rock Harbor Opera House caught fire, taking a disturbing secret…

Review: Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley

Posted by on 02/27/2012 • 40 Comments

Graffiti MoonCath CrowleyRelease date: February 14th, 2012by Knopf Books for Young Readers

Goodreads / Purchase

Senior year is over, and Lucy has the perfect way to celebrate: tonight, she’s going to find Shadow, the mysterious graffiti artist whose work appears all over the city. He’s out there somewhere—spraying color, spraying birds and blue sky on the night—and Lucy knows a guy who paints like Shadow is someone she could fall for. Really fall for. Instead, Lucy’s stuck at a party with Ed, the guy she’s managed to avoid since the most awkward date of her life. But when Ed tells her he knows where to find Shadow, they’re suddenly on an all-night search around the city. And what Lucy can’t see is the one thing that’s right before her eyes.

Blogger Zombies Guest Post

Posted by on 02/26/2012 • 16 Comments

This post is part of Zombies vs Unicorns month co-hosted with Literary Exploration, YA-Aholic and YA Bookmark

Last month, I asked some of my fellow team zombie bloggers to drop by and explain why exactly, team zombie? Why are zombies so incredibly awesome that they will always be awesomer than unicorns? This is what they had to say!*Don’t forget to click on their buttons to check out their fabulous blogs!

Andrea from The Bookish Babes

I’m going to take a semi-unpopular position here because I don’t love all zombies. Nope. They’re gross and I can’t even watch The Walking Dead without gagging. But, as it turns out, I do love some zombies. I was reading Dearly,Departed by Lia Habel, when I finally found a zombie who stole my heart,…

In My Mailbox (24)

Posted by on 02/26/2012 • 85 Comments

“In My Mailbox” is a meme, created by Kristi at The Story Siren, that features books I have received/ purchased/ borrowed during the week. 

I hope everyone had a fabulous week because this week was my BIRTHDAY! Yay! We went out today to celebrate with steak an lobster. It was delicious! I didn’t actually buy any books this week but I did receive a few review copies that can count for birthday gifts, right!? I also got a cake, I left it on the coffee table and my toddler found it this morning. He was quiet for a few minutes, so I came to see what he was up to and he was stuffed full of chocolate. Then I sent him off to his grandparent’s. Teehee.

This week at…

Review & Guest Post: Deadlocked by A.R. Wise

Posted by on 02/25/2012 • 12 Comments

DeadlockedA.R. WiseRelease date: November 9th, 2011

Goodreads / Purchase

David was caught in the middle of the city when the zombie outbreak started. His wife and daughters were at home, stranded on the roof as zombies waited below. He would have to fight through hordes of undead, merciless other survivors, and a series of death defying stunts to get home. However, even if he makes it there, how can he be sure they’re safe?

Deadlocked puts you into David’s head as he struggles to get home. Then a final confrontation occurs that will guarantee his family’s survival, but at what cost?

Deadlocked 2 A.R. Wise Release date: December 9th, 2011 Goodreads / Purchase

Part two of this series picks up immediately after the end of the first. David’s wife,…

Fresh Batch (Feb. 26th – March 3rd)

Posted by on 02/25/2012 • 16 Comments

Exclusively titled for Xpresso Reads, Fresh Batch features the hottest releases of this upcoming week. Flavour of the week:

When the Sea is Rising Red

Cat Hellisen Goodreads / Purchase 

After seventeen-year-old Felicita’s dearest friend, Ilven, kills herself to escape an arranged marriage, Felicita chooses freedom over privilege. She fakes her own death and leaves her sheltered life as one of Pelimburg’s magical elite behind. Living in the slums, scrubbing dishes for a living, she falls for charismatic Dash while also becoming fascinated with vampire Jannik. Then something shocking washes up on the beach: Ilven’s death has called out of the sea a dangerous, wild magic. Felicita must decide whether her loyalties lie with the family she abandoned . . . or with those who would twist this dark…