Tuesday, January 27, 2015

I am so excited that A COLD LEGACY by Megan Shepherd releases today and that I get to share the news, along with an excerpt from the book!

If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by Author Megan Shepherd, be sure to check out all the details below.

This blast also includes a giveaway for a signed copy of the book and swag courtesy of Megan and Rockstar Book Tours. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.

Author: Megan Shepherd
Pub. Date: January 27, 2015
Publisher: Balzer+Bray/HarperCollins
Pages: 400
After killing the men who tried to steal her father’s research, Juliet—along with Montgomery, Lucy, Balthazar, and a deathly ill Edward—has escaped to a remote estate on the Scottish moors. Owned by the enigmatic Elizabeth von Stein, the mansion is full of mysteries and unexplained oddities: dead bodies in the basement, secret passages, and fortune-tellers who seem to know Juliet’s secrets. Though it appears to be a safe haven, Juliet fears new dangers may be present within the manor’s own walls.

Then Juliet uncovers the truth about the manor’s long history of scientific experimentation—and her own intended role in it—forcing her to determine where the line falls between right and wrong, life and death, magic and science, and promises and secrets. And she must decide if she’ll follow her father’s dark footsteps or her mother’s tragic ones, or whether she’ll make her own.

With inspiration from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, this breathless conclusion to the Madman’s Daughter trilogy is about the things we’ll sacrifice to save those we love—even our own humanity.

Montgomery stopped the horses outside a tavern. He came to the carriage door, opening it just a crack to keep the rain from drenching us. “I’m going to ask directions. We can’t be far now.”

We watched him saunter over the muddy street as though he didn’t even feel the bite of freezing rain. A face appeared in the tavern window. The door opened and he spoke to a woman in a wool dress for a few moments, then stomped back through the mud. “This village is called Quick,” he told us. “The manor’s only five miles from here.”

“Did you hear that?” Lucy murmured to Edward, still stroking his hair. “We’re almost there. Just hold on. Everything will be all right once we arrive.”

Montgomery’s eyes shifted to me. Neither of us wanted to remind Lucy that the prospect of Edward’s fever breaking—and the Beast’s reappearance—was almost more frightening than the fever itself. Delirious, he was less of a threat.

“Let’s go then,” I whispered to Montgomery. “And quickly.”

He closed the door and in another moment we were moving again, passing through the rest of Quick. Then all too soon the village was nothing but fading lights. The storm grew and the road became rougher, and all the while Edward’s eyes rolled back and forth beneath shuttered lids.

Thunder struck close by, and Lucy shrieked. Montgomery whipped the horses harder, pulling us along the uneven road impossibly fast, trying to outrun the storm. I twisted in the seat to look out the back window at the pelting rain. A stone fence ran alongside us.

“We must be getting close,” I said.

“Not soon enough,” Lucy breathed. “We’re going to crash if he keeps driving like this!”

The road widened, straightening, letting us travel even faster. Lightning struck close by, blinding me. The horses bolted. Lucy screamed and covered her eyes, but I couldn’t tear mine away. The lightning had struck an enormous oak tree, twisted from centuries of wind. The oak took flame, blazing despite the rain. A smoking gash ran down the trunk—the lightning’s death mark. I watched until the rain put out most of the flames, but it still smoldered, billowing hot ash into the night.

The horses pawed the earth, and I grabbed the window to steady myself. At this wild speed, just hitting a single rock at the wrong angle would send the carriage shattering to the ground. It was madness to go so fast. Couldn’t Montgomery calm the horses?

Just when I feared the carriage would careen out of control, it stopped short, throwing me against the opposite wall. I tangled in Lucy’s limbs as the chains around Edward’s body clinked. Balthazar grunted, jerking awake at last. We scrambled in the bottom of the carriage until the door flew open.
Montgomery stood in the pelting rain. I feared he’d say we’d broken another strut or the horses had gone lame or we’d have to spend the night in the harsh storm.

But then I saw the lights behind him, and the night took shape into a turreted stone manor with bright lamps blazing and gargoyles on the roof vomiting rain into a stone courtyard.

Montgomery’s eyes met mine beneath the low brim of his hat.

“We’ve arrived,” he said.


I’ve been many things, like a professional exchange student, park ranger in Montana, and LOST enthusiast, but what I am now is a writer.

I think it’s fair to say I was born into it. I grew up in the mountains of North Carolina, raised behind the counter of my parents’ independent bookstore, 
Highland Books in Brevard. Ah, so many free books. But I never thought being a writer could be a real career. After college I thought I’d end up as a foreign service officer somewhere dashing and exotic, like Canada. I studied French, Spanish, German, and Russian and still speak a few of those. Then I joined the Peace Corps and spent two years in Senegal, where I learned a few more languages I’ll never speak again and lived in a mud hut with no electricity or running water. You can probably imagine how that experience went, but if you’re curious, here are the dirty details

It wasn't until a chance aquaintance read something I wrote and said, "have you ever considered being a writer?" that something clicked and I realized it was possible. My husband encouraged me, and I quickly fell head-over-heels in love with writing and children's literature in particular. I started out writing articles, which have appeared in Faces, Appleseeds, and Calliope magazines, and stories for younger children. I soon realized I wasn’t sweet enough to write fiction for that age and found myself writing young adult literature instead, which doesn’t require nearly as many tender moments and includes a lot more cursing.

When I'm not writing, I can usually be found horseback riding, day dreaming at coffee shops, or hiking in the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina. I love to hear from readers, so please drop me a line!

I am represented by Josh Adams of Adams Literary.
Author Photo by Kristi Hedberg Photography

1 winner will receive a signed copy of A COLD LEGACY and swag! 
US Only. Ends on February 6th at Midnight EST!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, January 23, 2015

Friday Finds

Friday, January 23, 2015 with 6 comments
A Meme By Should Be Reading

I've added a lot of interesting books to my TBR list recently (as always). My problem is that I always seem to add books faster than I take them off by reading them. Here's what I added to the this week:

Ex-archaeology grad student turned international antiquities thief, Alix—better known now as Owl—has one rule. No supernatural jobs. Ever. Until she crosses paths with Mr. Kurosawa, a red dragon who owns and runs the Japanese Circus Casino in Las Vegas. He insists Owl retrieve an artifact stolen three thousand years ago, and makes her an offer she can’t refuse: he’ll get rid of a pack of vampires that want her dead. A dragon is about the only entity on the planet that can deliver on Owl’s vampire problem – and let’s face it, dragons are known to eat the odd thief.

Owl retraces the steps of Mr. Kurosawa’s ancient thief from Japan to Bali with the help of her best friend, Nadya, and an attractive mercenary. As it turns out though, finding the scroll is the least of her worries. When she figures out one of Mr. Kurosawa’s trusted advisors is orchestrating a plan to use a weapon powerful enough to wipe out a city, things go to hell in a hand basket fast…and Owl has to pick sides.
Where I found it: Noticed the cover on my feed - it came from Gizmo's Reviews.

Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?
Where I found it: It was the recommended read from today's issue of theSkimm.


Andrew Brawley was supposed to die that night. His parents did, and so did his sister, but he survived.

Now he lives in the hospital. He serves food in the cafeteria, he hangs out with the nurses, and he sleeps in a forgotten supply closet. Drew blends in to near invisibility, hiding from his past, his guilt, and those who are trying to find him.

Then one night Rusty is wheeled into the ER, burned on half his body by hateful classmates. His agony calls out to Drew like a beacon, pulling them both together through all their pain and grief. In Rusty, Drew sees hope, happiness, and a future for both of them. A future outside the hospital, and away from their pasts.

But Drew knows that life is never that simple. Death roams the hospital, searching for Drew, and now Rusty. Drew lost his family, but he refuses to lose Rusty, too, so he’s determined to make things right. He’s determined to bargain, and to settle his debts once and for all.

But Death is not easily placated, and Drew’s life will have to get worse before there is any chance for things to get better.
Where I found it: The latest Fresh Batch on Xpresso Reads.

Of the three books above, I think I'm most excited to read The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley by Shaun David Hutchinson. I was drawn in by the cover and title, but I think the synopsis sounds like something I'd really enjoy - I can already tell that it will probably make me cry.

What books have you recently added to your TBR?


Monday, January 19, 2015

My Resolutions for 2015

Monday, January 19, 2015 with 1 comment

Because reading is better than real lifeHappy New Year, everyone!

Welcome to 2015!!!

Already, I've been quite busy this year, so I apologize for the mini-hiatus I had to go on over the holiday - I do, however, have a lot of ideas for the upcoming year, and have been busy working out a blogging schedule for 2015. No more excuses!

I didn't like the fact that last year seemed so sporadic, as I focused too much on my work life to have much of a personal one - it's a resolution of mine to find a balance between the two, which is actually what  this post is about, as well.

I came across the 2015 Bookish Resolutions Challenge (hosted by Michelle @ Because Reading Is Better Than Real Life and Laura @ Trips Down Imagination Road) while perusing the feed on my Blogger Dashboard, and thought I'd join in, since I was planning on creating a resolutions post, anyway. I actually have a lot of resolutions for the year, and really had to narrow my list down to something that was actually do-able. Here's what I came up with:

Blogging/Reading Goals
  1. Read at least 67 books in 2015.
  2. I regularly participate in the Goodreads reading challenge and aim to read 50 books, but for some reason last year and the year before, I read 67 books exactly. I figured, why not? I'll aim to beat that number, of course, but for now, I'll set that as my target.
  3. Read the books on my shelf.
  4. I have a lot of physical books that I hope to get to this year - I really need to start reading what I buy, as I am running out of shelf space. I plan on making more space by donating any books I end up disliking.
  5. Post at least 3 times per week.
  6. Starting now, lol. I also hope to create more discussion posts.
  7. Review more of the books I read.
  8. Let's face it - I haven't actually posted a book review in quite a while. I'm aiming to change that this year by aiming to review all of the books that I count towards my reading challenges.
  9. Complete my reading challenges.
  10. I'm trying not to overwhelm myself this year by joining challenges that are a bit more "loose" with their rules (such as: read more diverse books, or re-read some old favorites) instead of having to read a set number. I love reading challenges, but would never want to dismiss reading a book because it doesn't fit into any of my challenges for the year.
Personal Goals
  1. Get more sleep.
  2. I really have trouble going to sleep, and for me, falling asleep by midnight is actually early, as I tend to stay up until around 2am, though I have to be up every morning by 6:30am to get ready for work. I know, right? My goal is to fall asleep before midnight each night.
  3. Have more experiences (or, GET OUT MORE!!!).
  4. I'm an introvert, and a bit of a shut in. I barely got my first car last year, and was proud of myself for using it to attend as many concerts as I did, even though I went to most of them by myself. This year, I'd like to continue concert-going, but I'd also like to see a bit more of what my city has to offer, such as going for a ride on the Wyler Aerial Tramway or having a beer at Rosa's Cantina.
  5. Lose 20 pounds.
  6. This one speaks for itself, really.
  7. De-clutter our home.
  8. It's really time to let go of all the crap we don't use anymore. I think this one will be more manageable if I tackle one room at a time.
  9. Keep a journal to track my resolution progress.
  10. I would really like to stay on top of my goals, and whether or not I do so, I'd like to track it in a journal and hold myself accountable.

I know that I've listed a lot of resolutions, but what's wrong with having goals? I specifically chose goals that are actually obtainable due to their vagueness, and have already started journaling out my plan. As long as I do my best to complete even some of these resolutions, I'll already be having a better year than 2014.

    So, what do you think? Do you have any resolutions that you'd like to share?
    Please do so in the comments below!