Wednesday, February 28

GIVEAWAY and Book Excerpts: Pen & Xander by Laekran Zea Kemp

Here is the link directly to the giveaway:

And courtesy of the author is here are a couple of excerpts of 'Pen & Xander' for your enjoyment!

Excerpt #1:
The parking lot hasn’t changed; the science building looks the same as that first day of school five months ago. But as I sit in my car, watching girls I met during orientation skip up the steps, hugging their bags, excited to play nurse, I try to convince myself that something inside me has. That today I’ll actually be able to go inside. That today I will stop lying and be the person they want me to be.

Class starts in approximately seven minutes—the class I should have taken and passed last semester, moving me one step closer to a degree in nursing.

Six minutes.

I sit in the parking lot, watching the clock tick down. The car is in park but I can’t bring myself to turn off the engine. 

Walk inside.

I turn off the car, reminding myself how much I’ve already wasted on tuition and books.

You can do this. You can.

I reach for my bag.

Get. Out. Of. The. Car. 

And then I can’t breathe.

My mother’s shoes.

All I can think about are my mother’s shoes.

How they’ve sat in the same spot by the door for almost twenty years. Scuffed and cracked, the shadow of her foot pressed to the leather even when the laces are loose. I imagine every hallway they’ve ever walked down, every door they’ve propped open, every mess they’ve ever stepped in, every second they’ve held her up when all she wanted was to collapse. Because one of her patients couldn’t remember her face or their daughter’s name or how to speak.

When she lost one I’d wake to the knock of the rolling pin and the smell of dough warming on the hot plate. Sometimes I’d try to take the pin from her but there was something about the force, about the rhythm that reminded her how to breathe. We’d work in silence and three-dozen tortillas later she’d wrap them in foil and drive them to the family. The family that only visited once a month. That would accept my mother’s food without acknowledging that she was more family to the deceased than they were.

And then the next day she would go back to work.

For almost twenty years. She went back.

And if I step out of this car, if I walk up those steps, if I sit at that desk and pretend…how long will I be sitting there before I realize I’m trapped?

I take a deep breath, the scent of a thousand shifts at the restaurant tucked into the fabric of the front seat. Mango and cilantro and epazote, tomatillos and roasted pepitas and tortillas. I can’t sleep without those smells tangled in my hair, without those flavors still on my tongue.

So I have to decide what’s scarier: living a life that doesn’t belong to me or losing the one I love. If the truth breaks my father’s heart, I know he’ll take it from me. But if it doesn’t, if he understands, if I can makehim understand, I can be free.

I weigh each option, simmering in the anxiety they provoke, in the hope. Because I have to do what scares me. It’s the only way to ward off the helplessness. To stay in control. I always have to be in control.

Which means that today is not the day I go inside.

My stomach drops, my hand reaching to put the car in drive again.

Today is the day I tell them the truth.

Excerpt #2:

The room empties until there’s no one left but a few people snoring. Pen stays put too, standing across from me. Her cheeks are flushed from the alcohol, her expression stoic.
“Should we call it a tie?” I say.
She slides a shot glass over to me. “There’s no such thing.”
“Okay…” I reach for the coin. “Call it.”
She calls heads. She wins.
I try to steady my voice. “Go easy on me.”
“Truth or dare.”
“Truth.” It’s the only game I want to play with her.
“Okay. Where are you from? Originally?”
I sigh, relieved. “Puebla. I moved here when I was twelve.”
“My turn,” she says, not wasting any time.
“Truth or Dare,” I counter.
The question immediately forms on my tongue—who are you…really?—but it’s too harsh, almost accusatory. I mull over the words again and finally settle on, “Are you really as brave as you seem?”
She doesn’t smile. “Yes. And no. Your turn.”
“Truth,” I say.
“Are you as cool, calm, and collected as you seem?”
I huff out a laugh. “Sometimes.”
“And other times?”
The laugh slips from my lips. “I’m a fucking mess.”
“My turn.” I can’t tell if the abrupt back and forth is driven by her desire to reveal something about me or to be revealed herself. “Ask me another question.”
“Why did you drink before they could say who your brother…you know…?”
Pen glances at the window seat where Chloe is asleep against the sill. She rolls, sensing our eyes, and Pen lures me onto the front porch. The breeze is warm, the night sky hidden behind grey clouds. I expect Pen to explain but instead she’s silent, proving once again that Chloe’s secrets, unlike everyone else’s, are safe with her.
Beneath the light whistle of the wind, crickets chirping, I say, “You’re a good friend.”
She ignores the comment, sitting on the lid of an old paint can. “It’s your turn.”
I sit down next to her. “I’m ready.”
She narrows her eyes. “Okay, for all the marbles this one’s a two-parter. One truth and one dare.” She stares at the street, cheeks burning.
When she faces me again mine are too.
“Truth,” she breathes. “Do you want to kiss me?”
I don’t look away or even blink. “Yes.”
She doesn’t look away either. “Dare.” She swallows, leans in. “Do it.”
My hands move first, trusting that the only way to make them stop shaking is to press them to her skin. My thumbs graze her cheeks, fingers in her hair. It’s soft and she’s warm and for a long time I just look at her, closing the space centimeters at a time while I take in the lashes that are stuck together by mascara, the birthmark buried under her left eyebrow, the small dimple on her chin. I stare, sorting every piece into things that feel good and things that hurt like hell, into things I never want to forget and things I’ll do whatever it takes to make sure I never have to.
But before I have a chance to savor those first few breaths slipping between her lips, they’re pressed against mine, falling and climbing their way back up. I taste her lipstick, her tongue, and it makes me dizzy. Her hands are on my knees, pinning me there, and then they’re on my waist, on my shoulders, both of us gripping each other like we’re clinging to the edge of a cliff. Afraid of falling off. Or hoping that if we do, we’ll fall together.
Suddenly, Pen stops moving.
She stops breathing, my wild heartbeat the only sound.
I open my eyes and she’s not staring back. She’s staring at the street. At the car parked in front of Angel’s house, cigarette smoke slithering up from the open window, flesh and ink viper flexed against Jago’s forearm as he hangs it over the side of the door.
I’m on my feet and so is Pen. She shudders, angry, and unafraid. But I’m terrified. And not just of Jago seeing me here but of Jago seeing her. I don’t know how long he’s been watching us but I can tell by the way his mouth twitches that he knows who she is. To Ignacio Prado. To me.
The engine purrs as the car pulls forward. Just in time for Angel to step outside. For Jago to say hello to him too.
“Get inside, Pen.”
She straightens, shoulders heaving.
“No.” Her stare sharpens. She charges down the steps. “He’s not gonna fucking do this.”
Angel wrenches her back. “Are you out of your mind?”
My heart races.
“Stay away from us!” Pen shouts, trying to tear herself from Angel’s grasp. “Stay away from the restaurant. Fucking stay away!”
She seethes but the faster her breaths, the more transparent she becomes. Beneath the anger, beneath the shock, her eyes glisten with something like fear. And it’s all my fault.
Jago hangs his head back, a whistle cutting between his smile. He leans on the gas, letting the engine growl, and then he speeds off.
Pen glares until he rounds the corner and then she finally lets Chloe pull her inside. I stay put, afraid of facing Angel. I know Jago’s been following me and because I wasn’t being careful I led him right to Angel Prado’s house. To Pen. Her rage wasn’t directed at me but what she doesn’t know is that it should have been.
“I’m sorry, Angel. I didn’t mean for—”
“It’s not you,” Angel stops me. “It’s…” he shakes his head, “it’s not you.”

Tuesday, February 27

TMST: When is your favorite time to read?

Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly discussion post on Rainy Day Ramblings where Rainy discuss a wide range of topics from books to blogging. Weigh in and join the conversation by adding your thoughts in the comments. If you want to do your own post, grab the question and answer it on your blog.

When is your favorite time to read?

If I had it my way, I would read hours and hours a day. However, life gets in the way. I like to read at lunch time at work and I like to read when I am getting comfy at home. When going to bed I always read a few pages and it helps me get relaxed enough to fall asleep. 

Now...I am going to share a secret of mine! Some may relate...some may think I am a huge weirdo....

My favorite time to read is when I am in the bathroom. Yes going potty, but also but when I waiting for the shower to warm up or getting comfy taking a bath. I just like reading in the bathroom in general. Lately, I have been listening to audio-books while I get ready for work or ready for bed. Sometimes I even listen when I am taking a shower. 

I believe this stems from when I was in my youth...I would just sit in my bathroom and read. Just sitting on the floor in the bathroom, because that was when I had the most privacy. I would just would hide in the bathroom reading when I should've been doing chores or homework. I did it at school and at home. Very strange I know, but I feel comfortable sharing this secret! Now, as an adult, I may not hide in the bathroom, but I occasionally would just read while going potty, waiting for the shower, or taking a bath. It is my favorite time to read! I am absolutely alone and have some quiet to enjoy my books. 

A belated Happy Valentine's Day from Mamyia! Of  course she gets the wrapping paper ;)

Monday, February 26

B's Monday Review: Lady Be Reckless by Megan Frampton

Lady Olivia refuses to repeat her siblings’ scandalous mistakes. Instead, she will marry the lord rejected by her sister and help with his good works. When he resists, Olivia forms another plan: win his lordship’s admiration by helping his illegitimate best friend find a bride. How difficult can it be to transform the rakish Edward Wolcott into a gentleman? To ignore his virile good looks? To not kiss him in a moment of impulsive madness? Apparently, very difficult indeed.

Edward Wolcott promised his ailing father he would marry well, and it appears Lady Olivia wishes to assist him. The sparkling firebrand intends to smooth his way through London’s ballrooms, parlors, and eligible ladies, while all Edward’s thoughts suddenly revolve around bedrooms . . . and Lady Olivia herself.  Only a scoundrel would seduce the duke’s most dutiful daughter. And only a truly reckless lady would risk everything to be in his arms . . . 

ebook, 384 pages
Expected publication: February 27th 2018 by Avon
Duke's Daughters #2
Historical romance
Edelweiss (I know right! I was approved)

My thoughts:
This was a cute and fun romance. Though I am gonna be honest, I am pretty sure I have read it before...nope, not this book, just one with a totally similar premise. But hey, who cares, it was still fun and amusing.

Olivia wants to save the world. And also to marry Lord Carson since her sister failed to. And she does fancy him so that is good.

Edward is a bastard. The ton does not approve, but luckily his dad is really rich. He is kind and lovely and  why is the ton so evil! His dad loved his mum. His dad has raised him and still they turn their noses.

Olivia decides that Edward is her next project and he lets her (cos she is so cute and fun). Obviously they fall in love. Lord Carson, well he just have to find someone else to marry (though he does not really care.)

It was fun and cute.

Sunday, February 25

Joint Discussion: Gold for Steel by Charles C. Dixon

Hello all! Blodeuedd and I will be discussing "Gold for Steel" by Charles C. Dixon. Blodeudd is in blue and I am in red.  

Author: Charles C. Dixon
Title: Gold for Steel (The Gates of Kastriel, #1)
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: ebook
Being Published: Sept 2017
Where I Got It: My Shelf (Netgalley)

After a major victory in battle, Dalvin, Marco, and Oremund are becoming local legends. With the growth of their names come a deadly contract with an equally impressive bounty. Though the job seems impossible, the reward for success is too great to turn down. Upon accepting the contract, the trio of sellswords find their loyalty and trust to one another tested and in some ways irreparable. 

Meanwhile, Iman, a foreign priestess is trying to keep herself and her companions safe as they are hunted by a deadly assassin. After crossing paths with the sellswords, she finds herself in desperate need of their help. The secret she and her companions carry may determine the fate for all of the realms. Hunted by a vicious orc, the priestess is unsure how many times she will be able to escape death's grasp. A lost treasure is set to alter the direction of humanity, and she is forced to protect it.

 So….I guess this is what I get when I try and pick a fantasy….lollll

Did you like it? I did not...ahem *coughs* *mutters something about skimming most of it*

I liked bits and pieces of it. There were some good parts...but the rest? SUPER meh.

I wondered since you liked it at first, while I was meh from page 1. I can see that some part could have been good, but it was just so generic. So MEH.

The beginning was really good. Okay - not really good, just good. It felt like there would be hope...but it fell apart about 30% or so. I skimmed a bit. Got intrigued again...did more skimming. A slimmer of hope popped up and then back to skimming until the epilogue. WHICH was the best part of the book

I agree, the epilogue i did not skim. It seemed interesting, but it all depends on how the author plays it. If he makes the next one know what, then nope, just nope. DO not go grimdark after this fluffy little meh book. That does not work. But I still certainly do not want to read more.

This was fluffy, but he seemed to try and make it not fluffy. I felt off while reading it. I don’t know how to explain it. But I want the next book  to be dark. That was a dark ending and how on Earth is the character (not spoiling) going to be saved? They don’t even know where this character is or that this character is even alive. Sooooooo….I feel like it should be dark at least for a little bit until OF COURSE they save this character from this crappy fate. We don’t even have to read the next one to know that all will end up well in the end. LOL

It’s like, hmm, show don’t tell? I felt like he wanted a lot so he tried in a few places to tell things, but they felt SO out of places that I just rolled my eyes at certain times. And he did not show us enough either, or made me care.
As for the dark bits, as long as he does not go too dark. Because I feel he would mess it up. After what I have reading this one. Using that thing if you know what I mean, as a mean of pushing a story forward, it can fail miserably.

True, true. Going THIS dark is a gamble and you have to do it right for it to work well. Which...he would have issues I feel. He did alright with the lighter bits. When it came to the darker points of the story it seemed like copy and paste from other stories and books.

I agree and sure hope he does not go there….
LOL, we are talking about the next one cos there is nothing to discuss here. Oh that is bad!
Ok ok, how did you like the characters?

We are discussing the next book and we will prolly never read it...ha! But the characters? I only liked Iman and that kid. I didn’t really LIKE them. I more so enjoyed their stories the best. I wanted to see if they could stay away from the evil assassin Orc.

Omg that Orc *eyeroll*
I did not care for Iman, that woman had zero personality. SHe was  pretty, that is all I know.
The kid was good.
As for the men….*blank stare* They killed a griffin, yup, oh and one had a tragic backstory and I would rather have read that book.

Really? I feel Iman had some personality. Not much but I feel there is hope for her. And yes, the men. I didn’t really care at all. I never connected with them. I think the biggest issue was that there was no time spent learning about the characters. We just jumped right into the world and into the story. There was zero build-up. I think that was the main issue.

I never even knew what the big deal was, I think we should have known that earlier for me to care. Do not be mysterious. Make us like them instead.
And sure maybe a smidge of personality, but mostly he just said she was pretty

I agree. The beginning had promise. I felt there was something stirring there, but then it just went flat. I just wanted them to kill that Orc and get where they had to go and be over with.

 This book took us nowhere! Oh and there is some war coming? No idea, did not care, skimmed past it. Something about a city *yawn* What was that even about? It felt like he wanted to tell another story

I can’t even remember much. There needed more time for us to understand the world and this possible war. Maybe more time on the importance of getting to the city. Why did they need to go there? Would the kid be safe? I felt confused.

Yeah, what was about with staying there when they needed to go somewhere else…*shakes head*

I am bummed I didn’t like this as much as I wanted to. It went well for me and then fell apart. Sighs.

I get the feeling


OH MY GOODNESS. I thought you weren’t done with the sentence….hahahahaha

HaHa. Sorry I was done.  
Also, I had SO write it for me, trying to feed Baby S. I do not think he is getting the feel of me through

Hahaha too funny. But yes. A super bummer of a book. Maybe I should leave it to you to pick the next fantasy book we read. XD

Eeeek, but we suck at it! We should just read the new Pierce Brown book. As for fantasy, scaaary stuff

I do really want to read the next Pierce Brown book.

I have it from the library ;) Just no time to read it

No time either...IDK if it is at my library yet….hmmmmm
BUT anything else about this one? I have nothing else. Some good parts, but overshadowed by the bad parts for me. Read at your own peril.

LOL.  Yes read at your own peril
I will think of something for next month

Good luck m’am. HAHAHA

Super cranky baby tonight. Night!

THE END. Give baby hugs from me!!

About the Authors
Carole and Blodeuedd have been blogging a long while now. The last couple of years the epic duo have been discussing books, watching movies, and even wetting the pen and sharing their stories with the worldwide web. They both love cats, chocolate, and a good story.

Saturday, February 24

Movie Review: Doctor Who - The Infinite Quest (2007)

Film Title: Doctor Who - The Infinite Quest
Length: 45 mins
Released: 2007
Genre: Action, Adventure, & fantasy
Rating: Not Rated (I would say minimum PG)
Where I Got It: My shelf (bday gift from my friend)


In this animated adventure The Doctor and Martha Jones trek through space and time in a race against the galaxy's greatest despot, Baltazar, to follow a complex trail of clues to discover the location of the legendary lost spaceship, the Infinite, which, according to myth, can grant anybody their hearts desire.


OOoooooh Doctor Who. I do love the show (even though I am embarrassingly behind in the new stuff D:) so when my friend gave this to me for my birthday I was excited to watch it.

So the story follows the 10th Doctor (yayy - my favorite!) and his companion Martha (my least favorite) on another adventure. The come across Baltazar who is looking for the mythical and legendary spaceship that will grant anybody's deepest desire. Of course the Doctor and Martha decide this is NOT a good idea because Baltazar is a baddie so they decide to try and find it and stop Baltazar. 

A fun adventure for sure and I wasn't sure what was going to happen. It was fun to see the 10th Doctor again since he has always been my favorite. LOVE HIM! Martha is meh like usual. I don't mind her personality and the actress is good, but I LOATH her obsession-y love for the Doctor. I get it...I would feel the same if I was her, but it just contradicts her strong-woman personality to be so gaga over him. It is annoying because the Doctor has made it clear time and time again he wants to be just her companion and friend. DUH, he is still in love with good ol' Rose. But yes...even though I wish this adventure was with a different companion, I still enjoy it anyways. 

The art was interesting, but kinda hard to look at at. I get what they were attempting, but it seemed SO cheap. I wish it had been normal animation. This worked, but I wasn't a crazy fan of it. 

Oooo! That bird made me sad. Poor thing. 

Now the ending was certainly good. I SO did not expect what happened to have happened. Very good. Made me sad though....I wanted this to be longer. I miss the 10th Doctor something fierce!

In the end, this was a fun watch for Doctor Who fans. If you are new to this world, I would avoid it. I really thing this was made just as a fun 45 min extra adventure with the Doctor and Martha. The animation was kinda meh, but I enjoyed the story line. I'll give this a 3. 

Friday, February 23

Book Blitz - TARRAGON, DRAGON MAGE by Karlie Lucas

After hundreds of years, the gates to Tarragon are open once more, fulfilling age-old prophecy. However, Anwen’s journey is far from over. The dragons still sleep and she has no clue how to wake them. Forced to retreat from the Mountain, she and her newfound friends must devise a new plan to wake the inhabitants of Tarragon.

Meanwhile, the Mage Circle, a group of dragon mages with a vendetta, is camped outside the Gates. Calling on allies of their own, they will stop at nothing to gain control of the Dragon City and all who dwell inside.

To complicate matters even more, Anwen’s mother has joined the party. But even with the help of all her friends, can Anwen overcome the ordeals set before her or will this spell the end of the dragons and the world as we know it?

Purchase your copy here:

Amazon US ~ AU ~ CA ~ UK ~

~ Createspace ~ Kobo ~ B&N ~ Smashwords ~

Karlie Lucas is a preschool teacher by day and a writer/artist by night.

A graduate of Southern Utah University, Karlie received a B.A. in Creative Writing, with a minor in art. She is a member of Sigma Tau Delta, The International English Honor Society, as well as ANWA, the American Night Writers Association.

Karlie is interested in all things magical and mysterious, especially elves and dragons. She is an avid fan of J.R.R. Tolkien and J.K. Rowling.

When not writing, Karlie can often be found drawing, baking, watching her favorite old school shows, or just spending time with her family.

She currently resides in Dallas, Texas with her husband and a cat named Kally

Connect with the Author here: 
Facebook ~ Website ~ Amazon ~ Goodreads ~


Courtney glanced out the window overlooking the dining area as she did. Overhead, something momentarily blotted out the sun. It looked like some kind of bird, though none she could identify. She moved closer to the window, trying to decide if she’d seen something or not. “Hey, Tyler, have you heard of there being any kind of large bird in the area?”

Tyler looked up from cleaning the counter with a dishtowel. “Large birds?” He abandoned his cloth and walked over to the window. The hair on the back of his neck began to prickle as he saw another shadow cross over the sun. It didn’t look like the typical fowl.

The silhouette looked like some kind of flying creature. It resembled one he’d seen several years ago. He could clearly see two creatures, even though they were both relatively far away. “That’s not a bird,” he warned. He reached for the nearest weapon, which happened to be a wooden walking stick from against the wall.

Seeing Tyler’s unusual reaction, Anwen felt her chest tighten. “How did they find us?”

Click the links below to join the events for the Next book in the Series!!!
Cover Reveal ~ Tour ~ Party ~ 

To view our blog schedule and follow along with this tour visit our Official Event page 

Wednesday, February 21

Wednesday Writing Prompt #7

Happy Wednesday everyone! This is a Wednesday prompt that showcases my responses to the writing prompts in this 300 Writing Prompt book. Just something fun to do! Feel free to join in. I may not share every week, but it is fun to share when I do.

Holy cow! It has been a LONG time since I've share some of my prompts. I blame it on moving and losing the darn thing. I recently found it after unpacking. We are about 90% done. HUZZAH! So I should have more of these in the future. I would at least like to share all 300. 

-          Have you experienced something that just could not be logically explained?

o   My life? Ha! No, but seriously I have so many experiences. The one that first comes to mind is an experience I had eons ago. I was very little, about 5. My mom and I were living with my Grandpa Carol. One day, I was in the basement playing with my Barbies on the cot. This slim, black cat came up to me. I said a hello and went back to my fantasy world. The cat meowed, sniffed me, and then it went under the cot. I thought nothing of it. That night after being ticked in that same cat appeared and came over to me. It meowed and jumped on the bed. We cuddled. The next night the cat never came again. I asked mom where the cat had gone. She looked at me utterly confused, “What cat?”
Later I found out that cat had been dead for 5 years.

-          What do you need right now?

o   I need a nap. I need a nap on a vacation. What is better than when you are on vacation and you have all the time to just take a nap with zero care or stresses? Naps on vacation is worth all the stress of life and work. Oh! I could use some Oreos too right about now. Yes, Oreos and a long nap.

-          It is the end of your life and you are up on stage being presented with a major award. What award is it, and what have won it for?

o   Award? Ummmmmm…..clumsy-no-matter-what Award. The reason is clear. I get hurt NO matter what. For example, I pulled a muscle in my foot and I have no idea how or why. So yes…fumbling and tumbling through life award.

Tuesday, February 20

Time for TV Tuesday: The Office (Seasons 1-9)

Recently Finished:
The Office (Season 1-9)

Such a fun show! I first watched this show in my youth and I didn’t like it. Maybe I was too young? Maybe it was because it was a random episode and so I didn’t understand anything? Who knows…but when I decided to do a run through a couple of years ago I fell absolutely in love. I decided to do another run through since there is a rumor of a reboot/continuation or something. And I love it even more now that I work in an office. 

This is for sure an adult show. Not that there is “bad” material, but it really is adult humor. As adults we can all connect in some way with either the characters or a situation. I adore watching the characters grow and watching the situations unfold. I honestly feel that the characters make this story. There is really nothing else. The story follows characters working in an office that sells paper. Sounds boring, eh? But the characters really make you want to work there.

It is hard to really pick a “favorite” character. The office goes through SO many changes. Some people leave, some people get fired, some people get promoted. It really does feel like an office. There are some characters that NEVER leave. The settlers. That is what I call them. People who just settle for what they have and will never leave the job they have until they retire or die. 

The last season was good. It does leave some wiggle room if they wanted to really continue the story. It was nice. Ryan, Kelly, and Andy disappointed me big time. I never liked Ryan, so eh. But Kelly? Andy? Why? Andy was an interesting character, but I hated him after what he did to poor Erin. Kelly…you fool. I can’t say much else, but those character’s really upset me. 

In the end, this is a fun show. Lots of humor, lots of feels, and lots of wasted time. How did this branch maintain sales??????????? I highly recommend it if you are an adult. LOL! I’ll star each season and so an average:

Season 1: 4
Season 2: 5
Season 3: 3
Season 4: 2
Season 5: 4
Season 6: 5
Season 7: 5
Season 8: 3
Season 9: 5

A solid 4!