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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Defiance A.G. Henley book blitz

About the Author:
A.G. Henley is the author of the BRILLIANT DARKNESS series. The first novel in the series, THE SCOURGE, was a finalist for the 2013 Next Generation Indie Book Award.

A.G. is also a clinical psychologist, which means people either tell her their life stories on airplanes, or avoid her at parties when they’ve had too much to drink. Neither of which she minds. When she’s not writing fiction or shrinking heads, she can be found herding her children and their scruffy dog, Guapo, to various activities while trying to remember whatever she’s inevitably forgotten to tell her husband. She lives in Denver, Colorado.

Author links:

Interview With The Author:
1) What is The Scourge about? Did you have any interesting moments while researching the book?

In The Scourge, Sightless Fennel must face terrifying, flesh-eating creatures called the Scourge, in order to gather water for her people, the Groundlings, as they hide from the creatures in caves near their forest homes. Fenn’s Sightlessness is supposed to mysteriously protect her, but she hasn’t been tested. Until now.

I did learn some interesting things while researching The Scourge. I can’t tell you the most interesting thing I learned, because it is a big spoiler. It had to do with how the Scourge became the way they are . . . But, I recently had the opportunity to do some hands-on research into archery (Peree, Fenn’s Lofty Keeper and the male protagonist of the series, is an archer.) My fingers are still red and a little sore from releasing the arrows!

2) As I read The Scourge, I thought it was refreshing for Fennel, the heroine, to have a physical disability. Where did the idea to make her Sightless come from?

I can’t remember exactly when the idea came to me, although it was before I started writing the manuscript. I thought it would be cool to feature a protagonist with a disability. I’d read widely in the YA genre and couldn’t think of many books that had a disabled main character. As for making her blind, I was influenced by Ivy in the film The Village. I love the way Ivy and her family and friends seem to accept her blindness as just a part of who she is. It is a challenge to be sure, but it doesn’t define her. The film often gets a bad rap, in my opinion. I loved it—especially the setting and atmosphere.

3) I know this may be a tough one, but which character is your favorite?

Oh, that’s not too hard. I love Fennel. She’s who I wish I could be: strong, brave, intelligent, responsible, concerned about others, family and community oriented, non-judgmental. And yet still fully human, I think, with as many insecurities and small concerns as any seventeen-year-old.

I also had a blast developing Moray’s character in The Defiance. He’s an antihero—deliciously self-centered and arrogant—while still adhering to his own code of ethics and values. They just aren’t the values most other people share (thankfully.)

4) The character names are unique and refreshing, how did you come up with them?

I wanted the character names to reflect something about the groups they came from. In my series, there are two main groups of people—the Groundlings, who live on the ground, and the Lofties, who live in the tops of the trees. They are locked in an uneasy, sometimes violent, symbiotic relationship. The male Groundlings have animal names (Bear, Eland), the female Groundlings have plant names (Aloe, Rose), the male Lofties have bird names (Peregrine, Petrel) . . . and then I ran out of steam for naming the female Lofties. I eventually decided they would be named for something in their environment (Moonbeam, Dusk). The Groundlings make fun of the female Lofty names, which was really me making fun of myself for not being able to think of anything better!

It occurred to me much later that by giving the characters these types of names, I also gave readers a sense of what the characters either look or act like. It’s a little heavy handed, but I think it’s also helpful when you write in first-person from the perspective of a blind main character who can’t describe the way other characters look.

5) If you were a character in the series, would you choose to live on the ground or high up in the trees?

I think I’d choose to live in the trees, where I could have a view and catch the breezes. But mostly I would want to have the choice, unlike the characters in my books.

6) The Defiance—the second installment in the Brilliant Darkness series—released on July 29th. Did you plan the novel before writing The Scourge, or did you wait to see how the first installment faired?

I published The Scourge last year without being at all sure I would write another book of any kind. It took me months to decide to write a sequel. I am a pantser (meaning I don’t outline or plot books before I write them) so I had only a vague idea of where I would take the plot of a sequel. I actually had a much better idea about what a third book would include. But usually when I let my mind wander the ideas start to flow, and that’s what happened with The Defiance.

7) Speaking of The Defiance, what can fans of The Scourge expect in this second installment?

Fennel and Peree are determined to be together in the protected village of Koolkuna, and Fenn feels strongly that it’s their responsibility to bring their people, the Groundlings and Lofties, back with them. When she receives a frightening message—a pair of dead, bloody animals gutted and nailed to the wall above her bed—she realizes that not everybody is willing to go along with her plan.

8) Tell me three things that you loved about writing The Scourge and The Defiance.

Allowing my imagination to run wild
Spending time with my book children, especially Fennel and Peree
Learning about the craft of writing fiction and the business of publishing

9) Post-apocalyptic and dystopian fiction are popular sub-genres in the literature world right now. Why do you think people enjoy them so much?

I think it’s intriguing to read about and imagine how you would react if you were put in these kinds of dire situations. Would I make the same decisions the heroine does? Would I feel the same way she does? Or would I decide to do something wildly different? Reading gives us a safe (and fun) way to explore those decisions.

10) Finally, what’s on your summer reading list?

Ooh, good question. I agree with the scores of other people who have said writers should spend almost as much time reading as they do writing. I love reading, so it’s been a treat to turn a hobby into something I have to do for “work” ; )

I recently devoured the first two books and the novella in Tahereh Mafi’s Shatter Me series. SO good. I also read and loved Mary Robinette Kowal’s Glamourist Histories series. I have an affinity for historical fiction already, but write in the style of Jane Austen and throw in some magic, and I’m utterly hooked. Now I’m starting on indie author Chelsea Fine’s The Archers of Avalon series. Her books won a bunch of awards at the utopYA convention where I was a panelist in June. I try to read a mix of both traditionally published and indie-published authors. I also mix in a few classics. I re-read Oliver Twist and The Great Gatsby in the last few months.
Book One:
The Scourge by A.G. Henley
(Brilliant Darkness #1)
Publication date: January 31st 2012
Genres: Dystopia, Young Adult

Seventeen-year-old Groundling, Fennel, is Sightless. She's never been able to see her lush forest home, but she knows its secrets. She knows how the shadows shift when she passes under a canopy of trees. She knows how to hide in the cool, damp caves when the Scourge comes. She knows how devious and arrogant the Groundlings' tree-dwelling neighbors, the Lofties, can be.

And she's always known this day would come—the day she faces the Scourge alone.

The Sightless, like Fenn, are mysteriously protected from the Scourge, the gruesome creatures roaming the forests, reeking of festering flesh and consuming anything—and anyone—living. A Sightless Groundling must brave the Scourge and bring fresh water to the people of the forest. Today, that task becomes Fenn's.

Fenn will have a Lofty Keeper, Peree, as her companion. Everyone knows the Lofties wouldn’t hesitate to shoot an arrow through the back of an unsuspecting Groundling like Fenn, but Peree seems different. A boy with warm, rough hands who smells like summer, he is surprisingly kind and thoughtful. Although Fenn knows his people are treacherous, she finds herself wanting to trust him.

As their forest community teeters on the brink of war, Fenn and Peree must learn to work together to survive the Scourge and ensure their people’s survival. But when Fenn uncovers a secret that shatters her truths, she’s forced to decide who and what to protect—her people, her growing love for Peree, or the elusive dream of lasting peace in the forest.


Praise for The Scourge:
“Lovable and relatable heroine? Check.  Swoon-worthy, kick-butt hero?  Check.  Compelling romance that makes your heart melt and toes curl?  Check.  Captivating story and fascinating world? Check.  Eagerly anticipating the next book?  Check, check, check.”-- Refracted Light Reviewsblog review

Book Two:
The Defiance by A.G. Henley
(Brilliant Darkness #2)
Publication date: July 29th 2013
Genres: Dystopia, Young Adult

Read The Defiance (Brilliant Darkness, #2), the highly anticipated sequel to The Scourge (Brilliant Darkness, #1), a 2013 Next Generation Indie Book Award Finalist!

Suspicion Trust. Fear Compassion. Hate Love.
It hasn’t been long since Fennel, a Sightless Groundling, and Peree, her Lofty Keeper, fell in love and learned the truth: the Scourge, and their world, are not what they seem.
Fenn and Peree are determined to guide their people to the protected village of Koolkuna, but first they must convince them that everything they believe is a lie. An impossible task, especially when someone seems hell-bent on trying anything—even animal sacrifice and arson—to destroy the couple’s new bond and crush the frail truce between the Groundlings and the Lofties. Not everyone wants to uproot their lives in the forest, and those who stay behind will be left terribly vulnerable.
Fenn and Peree’s resolve to be together, and the constant threat of the Scourge’s return, push both groups to the breaking point. Unable to tell friend from foe, Fenn must again decide how much she’s willing to sacrifice to ensure the future of the people of the forest.
Only this time, the price of peace may be too high to bear.


Praise for The Defiance:
"Fans of The Scourge, you will not be disappointed with this sequel. The Defiance was thrilling, romantic, and full of surprises. Loved this book!"
-- Imagine a World, blog review

"I had very high hopes for this follow-up novel, and Henley DEFINITELY delivers in her sophomore release!"
-- Booking It With Hayley G, blog review

"I absolutely LOVED The Defiance! No, I
more than loved it! It was breathtaking, intense, romantic,
suspenseful . . . the list could go on and on!"
-- ARC review

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Lick by Kylie Scott

                               This book was acquired through


Waking up in Vegas was never meant to be like this.

Evelyn Thomas’s plans for celebrating her twenty-first birthday in Las Vegas were big. Huge. But she sure as hell never meant to wake up on the bathroom floor with a hangover to rival the black plague, a very attractive half-naked tattooed man, and a diamond on her finger large enough to scare King Kong. Now if she could just remember how it all happened.

One thing is for certain, being married to rock and roll’s favourite son is sure to be a wild ride.

 I actually love this book SO much, it has probably made the top shelf of my favorites for the year.  I found myself in love with just about all of the characters the author created. The y all held such personality behind the words that it was almost like thinking about my own group of friends. I don't know if I could even pick out a favorite among them.

Ev wakes up the day after her 21st birthday, which she ended up celebrating with her best friend in Vegas, sporting a monster hangover almost as big as the wedding ring she finds on her finger. Talk about when good girls go bad. 

I thought that it was so sweet that her new rock star husband David wasn't black out drunk like she was when they decided to tie the knot and he actually meant to get married to her. The only problem is that Ev wakes up with no recollection of the night before and proceeds to vomit upon finding out about the marriage.

Going on their journey together as they discover their own hearts, was such a toe tingling, heart warming adventure. It definitely was a great rock and roll love story that proves that love if it is areal and both people are stubborn enough to fight for it, can conquer all. 

David turned  out to be such a sweet heart, even if his temper in a few scenes left me wanting to strangle him. Ev was so innocently sweet and untried I found myself smiling at every blush that touched the tip of her ears and applauding every time she stood up for herself. 

I could go on and on about this book forever but it would end with me giving away everything and this is definitely a book that you have to experience for yourself. 

 I will leave it on this note, I adored this unique love story and I would LOVE for a series to be developed.. The author's way of weaving such a sweet tale makes it so anticipating for a series that I cannot imagine the type of girls that would catch the rest of the bands heart's and be able to put up with their antics.

Interesting Quotes:
  1. " I don't like you making sense at this hour of the morning. Stop it."
  2. "Forget rest and stop giving the pizza dirty looks or you'll hurt it's feelings." 

Favorite Character:
 This is a hard title to give out because I fell in love with all of them but I think i enjoyed one more then the rest and that one would be Mal. His humor was a great ice breaker throughout the book and he really was a great friend and stand up guy. 

5 out of 5 Raven's!   

Friday, August 2, 2013

Bound by Night by Larissa Ione

                                 This book was aquired through
 The first installment in a sexy new paranormal romance series by Larissa Ione, author of the bestselling Demonica series!

Nicole Martin was only eight years old when the vampire slaves rose up in rebellion and killed her family. Now she devotes her life to finding a vaccine against vampirism, hoping to wipe out her memories—along with every bloodsucker on the planet. But there’s one thing she cannot destroy: her searing, undeniable attraction for the one man she should hate and fear the most . . .

A member of the renegade vampire MoonBound Clan, Riker is haunted by demons of his own. When he recognizes Nicole and remembers how her family enslaved his loved ones, his heart burns for vengeance. But when he kidnaps Nicole and holds her in a secret lair, his mortal enemy becomes his soul obsession, his greatest temptation, and, perhaps, his only salvation—a hot-blooded lover who could heal him with her touch . . . or bury him forever

 Despite this being a fairly good book, there is one huge aspect of it that I just could not wrap my head around and that was the fact that the author created the vampires and made them slaves to humans. I mean, how does that work, humans, the thing's they eat, weaker life forms and they are still slaves. Even defanging vampires still EAT humans, they have super strength and in this series they even have powers. I just did not understand how that worked but I would love to read a prequel explaining how it came about.

Another thing that was interesting was the toxicity of Boric Acid to vampire and how through research and study it was turned into a weapon to control them. I am curious on the chemistry of it and why it is considered poison to the vampires, how it kills them.

I will say this, this book felt a little bit like a Vampric Soap Opera, going up and down with one twist after the next and personally I had no problem with that. I love reading drama's when they are done right.

I think the most interesting scene was the defanged chef feeding on Nicole as a child in the begging, I could not even imagine the trauma of having to go through such an event and surviving. 

Interesting Quotes:
  1. "Maybe my magic vagina will cure you of all the traumatic acts my family inflicted on you."
  2. "I figured no one would randomly pick up anything they thought was full of superstinky bat shit."
Favorite Character:
I think my favorite character would have to be Myne. There is so much I want to know more about him and I just loved his personality. I truly hope the next book is about him and what happened to him because that is one I would love to sink my teeth into. 

4 out of 5 Raven's! 



*Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of numerous Blog Tours and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by the Blog Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review. There was no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, or readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning Use of Endorcements and Testimonials in Advertising*