Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The Adventurers Guild book 1 & 2 by Zack Loran Clark and Nick Eliopulos ~ Review & Giveaway

Few ever asked to join the Adventurers Guild. . . . Their members often died young.

In one of the last cities standing after the world fell to monsters, best friends Zed Kagari and Brock Dunderfel have high hopes for the future. Zed desperately wishes to join the ranks of the Mages Guild, where his status as Freestone's only half elf might finally be an asset. Brock, the roguishly handsome son of merchants, is confident he'll be welcomed into the ranks of the Merchants Guild.

But just as it seems the boys' dreams have come true, their lives take a startling turn . . . and they find themselves members of the perilous Adventurers Guild.

Led by the fearsome Alabasel Frond, the guild acts as the last line of defense against the Dangers-hungry, unnatural beasts from otherworldly planes. And when the boys uncover a conspiracy that threatens all of Freestone, Zed, Brock, and their new allies-Liza, a fierce noble, and Jett, a brave dwarf-must prove their worth once and for all.

This start of a thrilling new series is sure to be a hit with readers who like their fantasies clever and action-packed, with tons of humor and heart.






I should probably start at the beginning, Zed wrote, when things first went wrong?.

Zed, Brock, and their friends may have saved Freestone from destruction, but the fight against the Dangers is far from over. No one knows what to expect next from the dark power that forced the elves to abandon their city. And the influx of elf refugees in Freestone strains resources and brews resentment among the townspeople. Things have shifted between best friends Zed and Brock, as well, with their friendship crumbling under the weight

of the secrets they're keeping from each other.

When tensions reach an all-time high, Queen Me'Shala, leader of the elves, approaches the Adventurers Guild with a mission. She wants a small group of adventurers to go behind the king's back on a covert mission to save her city, and Zed, Brock, Liza, Jett, Micah, and their elven friend Fel join the quest. To face a powerful form of magic thought to be extinct, the adventurers will have to learn how to rely on each other and fight harder than ever before.

Don't miss this second installment of Zack Loran Clark and Nicholas Eliopulos's Adventurers Guild trilogy, where the stakes are raised, the action is breathless, and the dangers will stop even the bravest of hearts.





Disney was kind enough to send me both of these books for review.  

I love this series.  It's a great middle grade read.  You have a world that's been overtaken by monsters.  Only a few cities have survived.  Freestone is one of them.  Their wall and The Adventurers Guild keep them safe.  As for Freestone itself, it's isolated to the walls of it's city.  It's become a city with guilds.  Those who belong to a noble guild are almost always assured to continue in that guild when the choosing day rolls around.  Those is lower guilds or no guild don't have a lot of options.

This story is about two friends who have developed a friendship despite the differing guilds.  Zed is half elf (and that's not a good thing).  His mother belongs to the servants guild.  She hopes her son will have more.  He wants to be in the magic guild (he has a little after all).  Brock's family belongs to the merchants guild.  He's worked hard to gain a place in it too.  Their friendship is genuine.  And when the choosing doesn't really go as planned, they are thrown in with two new friends trying to survive in a guild where most people die young.

I love how this story takes someone considered "lower" and someone considered "higher" and has them the best of friends.  I love how they team-up with others that they may never have had any contact with to survive an adventure they never would have chosen themselves.  But they band together and become strong friends.  

As with the first book, the second book in this series is a great middle grade read.  It combines normal things that kids will relate to like brushing their teeth with fighting monsters and magic.   It creates a place where kids can see how hard making choices are.  NOT whether or not to brush your teeth but things like how discrimination and race make people funny.  And whether or not you just do what everyone wants you to or do what's right in your heart.  

The relationships between the four main characters and the added new one is this book will keep kids interested, I know it did me.  The characters are complex and interesting.  They aren't perfect but they are easy to like.  These guys do have you thinking and that's an important quality for a middle grade book.  It's not predictable and it holds the reader in this world that has lots of issues.  I loved that even kids could make an impact on this world.

The story moves quickly, again holding you in the story.    There is a lot of fighting with monsters, action that will draw in the boys and strong girls that will draw in the girls. 

Certainly can't wait for book three!




                                        


Val is giving away her review copies of these two books.

Hardback of book 1
Paperback ARC of book 2


US addresses only



a Rafflecopter giveaway




Stuck In Books Featured Releases & Giveaway




From Disney-Hyperion Books...


I should probably start at the beginning, Zed wrote, when things first went wrong?.

Zed, Brock, and their friends may have saved Freestone from destruction, but the fight against the Dangers is far from over. No one knows what to expect next from the dark power that forced the elves to abandon their city. And the influx of elf refugees in Freestone strains resources and brews resentment among the townspeople. Things have shifted between best friends Zed and Brock, as well, with their friendship crumbling under the weight

of the secrets they're keeping from each other.

When tensions reach an all-time high, Queen Me'Shala, leader of the elves, approaches the Adventurers Guild with a mission. She wants a small group of adventurers to go behind the king's back on a covert mission to save her city, and Zed, Brock, Liza, Jett, Micah, and their elven friend Fel join the quest. To face a powerful form of magic thought to be extinct, the adventurers will have to learn how to rely on each other and fight harder than ever before.

Don't miss this second installment of Zack Loran Clark and Nicholas Eliopulos's Adventurers Guild trilogy, where the stakes are raised, the action is breathless, and the dangers will stop even the bravest of hearts.








a Rafflecopter giveaway






Teaser Tuesday ~ 11/13/18

This is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading.



To participate you:
* Grab your current read
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS!
(Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!



I should probably start at the beginning, Zed wrote, when things first went wrong?.

Zed, Brock, and their friends may have saved Freestone from destruction, but the fight against the Dangers is far from over. No one knows what to expect next from the dark power that forced the elves to abandon their city. And the influx of elf refugees in Freestone strains resources and brews resentment among the townspeople. Things have shifted between best friends Zed and Brock, as well, with their friendship crumbling under the weight of the secrets they're keeping from each other.
When tensions reach an all-time high, Queen Me'Shala, leader of the elves, approaches the Adventurers Guild with a mission. She wants a small group of adventurers to go behind the king's back on a covert mission to save her city, and Zed, Brock, Liza, Jett, Micah, and their elven friend Fel join the quest. To face a powerful form of magic thought to be extinct, the adventurers will have to learn how to rely on each other and fight harder than ever before.


Don't miss this second installment of Zack Loran Clark and Nicholas Eliopulos's Adventurers Guild trilogy, where the stakes are raised, the action is breathless, and the dangers will stop even the bravest of hearts.



Teaser...


"Llethanyl is changing for the better," Fel insisted.
"Sure, but it sound to me like--"
"It wasn't always easy for my people, that much is true.  But the city is a little better each day."
"Right," Brock said.  He thought about that for a moment.
"You mean before the undead thing, though," he said.  (Page 171 of the ARC)

This is a great middle grade read!



That's our teaser for this week! What do you think? Do you have a teaser to share? Leave us a comment and link us up!


Monday, November 12, 2018

Chasing Shadows by Catherine Bybee ~ Excerpt & Giveaway





Title: Chasing Shadows
Author: Catherine Bybee
Release Date: November 13, 2018
Publisher: Montlake Romance




Avery Grant doesn’t date. Her first marriage was a mutually beneficial contract that gave her the financial freedom she needed to step away from her controlling parents. Wealthy and single, the last thing she’s looking for is love sneaking in to mess up her life plans. And after a brutal attack, she’s determined to never be vulnerable again, even if the new man in her life helps her feel safe.

Mesmerized from the moment he sets his eyes on Avery, Liam is driven to learn everything about this tough, sexy, challenging woman. Breaking down her defenses won’t be easy, but Liam refuses to be pushed away. All he needs is a tiny crack in Avery’s armor to wiggle his way into her heart.

But when a terrifying lie about her attacker’s fate comes to light, Avery’s past returns to haunt her. Now she’s willing to put herself in danger to get the answers she needs. That means jeopardizing the best thing that’s ever happened to her: Liam.





Available 11/13 from Amazon



Avery’s head shot up at the sound of a female voice calling her name.

“Lori?”

Oh, damn…

When Lori was at their table, Avery detached from Liam’s side and stood for a hug. “What are you doing here? Where’s Reed?”

Lori eyed Liam while she answered the questions. “Reed’s on his way down. We’re going out to dinner. Wanted a drink first.”

What were the chances of Lori excusing herself before Avery was forced to make an introduction?

Lori reached out a hand toward Liam. “I’m Lori.”

Liam stood; a broad smile matched his broad chest. “Liam Holt.” Once he released Lori’s hand, he pulled out a bar stool. “Sit, we just ordered drinks.”

Avery wanted to elbow his ribs.

Instead, she smiled.

Liam signaled for Nikki.

“Liam, huh? Avery hasn’t mentioned you.”

He pulled Avery’s chair closer to his and waited for her to sit. “We haven’t known each other long.”

Lori sent a questioning look to Avery. Instead of adding to Liam’s explanation.

“I’ve known Lori for a few years. We live in the same building.”

“What do you do, Liam?”

Small talk … is that what this was going to be?

Lori signaled Reed when he walked in the door. “This is my husband.”

Avery laughed. “You love saying that, don’t you?”

Lori nodded.

“They’re newlyweds,” Avery explained.

Once again Liam stood when Reed approached the table.

“Look who I found,” Lori said.

Reed kissed Avery’s cheek. “I haven’t seen you here in a while.”

“That’s because you two never come up for air,” Avery teased.

“This is Liam … Avery’s friend.” Yeah, Lori wanted more details.

The men shook hands.

“Have I ever met one of your friends?” he asked.

Avery glared. “Smooth, Reed … really smooth.”

Lori nudged her husband’s arm. “Stop teasing.” She turned her focus on Liam. “Avery keeps her private life private.”

Avery tried not to flinch when Liam placed a hand over hers. “I’ve figured that out recently.”

“How did you two meet?” Reed asked.

Avery said “the gym” at the same time Liam said “a bar.”

Lori’s lawyer radar spiked. Avery saw it in her eyes. “Those two things are worlds apart.”

She caught Liam’s hand and squeezed.

“The first time I saw you was at Pug’s Bar. I approached you at the gym.”

“I knew it. That was you at Pug’s. How did you figure out where I worked out?” She’d been asking herself that question for over a week.

“That wasn’t hard. Leslie had a gym bag.”

“Who’s Leslie?” Lori asked.

Avery didn’t look away from Liam. “A friend. So your job at the gym wasn’t on accident?”

“I might have approached Brenda about a side job so I could meet you.”

Avery’s jaw dropped.

“Who’s Brenda?” Reed asked.

“The owner of the gym,” Avery and Liam said at the same time. “How did you know I was there on Tuesday and Friday nights?” She wasn’t sure if his actions were exciting or scary.

“Appointment book. Brenda’s office is always open.”

“Wait, wait, wait.” Lori placed a hand between the two of theirs. “You see Avery in a bar. You search out a location of her gym, follow her to it, get a job there, and now you’re both here having drinks?”

Liam offered a brief, unapologetic nod.

Lori grabbed Avery’s hand. “How well do you know this guy?”

Avery liked the gleam in Liam’s eyes. “He’s safe.”

“What he just described is a little too close to stalking for my taste.”

Reed placed a hand on Lori’s shoulder. “Simmer down, Counselor. If Liam had an ulterior motive, he wouldn’t have told us all that.”

“I wanted to meet you,” Liam said. “

Yeah, well, you’ve met her.” Lori wasn’t happy.

Nikki showed up with Avery’s and Liam’s drinks.

“My usual, Nikki,” Lori told her.

“Hon, our reservations are in thirty minutes. Maybe we should go.”

Lori looked at Reed like he was crazy. “We aren’t leaving him with her. He could be a sociopath.”

Liam smiled, his eyes crinkling with amusement. “I’m not.”

“That’s what they all say.”

Avery put a free hand in the air. “Chill, Lori.”

Avery realized that her other hand had somehow ended up back in Liam’s. His thumb stroked the underside of her wrist in a strangely calming way.

“Do you want a drink, Reed?” Nikki was still standing there, watching the four of them.

“No, thank you. We’re leaving.”

Lori pushed back her chair. “We’re going to talk about this later,” she warned Avery. “And you … just so you know, I’m an attorney, and my big, burly husband here is in private security. He has even bigger friends.”

Liam reached into his back pocket and removed his wallet. From it, he pulled out what looked like a business card. “I have nothing to hide.”

Lori glanced at it briefly before Reed snatched it from her fingertips. “C’mon. Let’s leave them to their date.”

Liam stood again and shook Reed’s hand before he ushered Lori out of the bar.

“That was intense.”

“My friends are protective.”

“Understatement.”

“You really went through all that just to meet me?”

Liam picked up his cocktail for the first time. “Worked, didn’t it?”

Avery let loose his hand and lifted her glass to his. “Yes, it did.”


About the Author

New York TimesWall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author Catherine Bybee has written twenty-eight books that have collectively sold more than five million copies and have been translated into more than eighteen languages. Raised in Washington State, Bybee moved to Southern California in the hope of becoming a movie star. After growing bored with waiting tables, she returned to school and became a registered nurse, spending most of her career in urban emergency rooms. She now writes full-time and has penned the Not Quite Series, the Weekday Brides Series, the Most Likely To Series, and the First Wives Series.










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This giveaway is sponsored by the publisher/author.  Stuck In Books is not responsible for selecting the winner or delivering the prize. 


Sunday, November 11, 2018

Stacking OUR Shelves ~ 11/11/18


Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.  Make sure to checkout her post with links to all the other participates.

Click covers for Goodreads links


For Review...






Thanks Go To...

Avon Books
Harper Voyager
47 North
Entangled Teen
Sourcebooks
Howard Book

Bought or was gifted...

From The Origin Event









Bought...


The Darkest Star (Origin, #1)



KindleUnlimited...


Stolen by an Alien (Stolen by an Alien, #1)



From the Origin Event...


Envy (Eagle Elite #9.5; 1001 Dark Nights #83)


That's what we added to our shelves this week! What do you think? What did you add to your stacks? Leave us a comment and link us up!

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Signs of Cupidity (Heart Hassle #1) by Raven Kennedy ~ Review

Signs of Cupidity (Heart Hassle, #1)Source: KindleUnlimited

Signs of Cupidity (Heart Hassle #1) by Raven Kennedy


You'd think that basically being in charge of love would be an epic job, right? Wrong. Sure, I can blow some Lust into people's faces and watch the show, but I can't actually participate. It gets old, trust me. Same goes for love. I can pass it out like sugar-free lollipops at a dentist's office, but I can't get any love for myself. It totally sucks.

I used to consider myself a hopeless romantic, so why wouldn't I choose to become a cupid? Sounds like a good idea, right? Wrong again. They don't call us stupid cupids for nothing. I'm stuck in this never-ending afterlife where I'm invisible, lonely, and bitter as hell. And yeah, I'm probably responsible for some terrible matchmaking out there. Sorry, not sorry.

All my bad cupid'ing might be why I was exiled from the human realm. You can only do so much before the cupid bosses get all huffy. Unfortunately, my bitterness carried over into the new realm, and then I attacked a fae prince with Love Arrows. Accidentally. Okay, not accidentally. But hey, he deserved it. What I didn't expect was for him to retaliate and hit my ass with some crazy magic mojo strong enough to push me into the physical realm. Whoa.

That's right. This cupid just got a real body. And you know what that means...Now, it's my turn to get some. Love, I mean. Get your head out of the gutter. Wink, wink bitches.





After reading Four Psychos and ending up disappointed, I came across Signs of Cupidity. Signs of Cupidity has a similar premise to Four Psychos, so I picked it up with the hopes that I'd like this one better and it'd scratch the itch I'd been aiming for. Lucky for me, it did and I really enjoyed this one!

The main character, who gets dubbed Emelle, is a cupid. She's invisible and her job is to spread love....until she has a mishap with a fae prince and gets thrown into a physical form and lands on an island with three exiled men. And thus, the real story begins--Emelle working her way into the hearts of these guys while also accustoming herself to being physical and...etc. It's a great premise with pretty solid execution.

As for the characters, I was fond of them all. The guys don't immediately fall all over themselves for Emelle, but they aren't complete and total jerks to her from the get go, either. Or at least two out of three aren't...but that third is a) my favorite and b) a softie for her, you just have to look hard to see it. As for Emelle herself, she was funny. I enjoyed her character and narration.

On the romance front, as I said, the guys don't fall right away. There's definitely a slower burn to this series, but not TOO slow--I believe it would be called a medium burn. I definitely enjoyed the foundation laid in this first installment for their relationship. They get comfortable with each other here, get to know each other. It's sweet, and I had a great time reading it.

Overall, Signs of Cupidity has an awesome premise, solid execution, and characters I was fond of--I really enjoyed this one! And I will be picking up book 2 VERY SOON. (Like, so soon that as I'm writing this, I've already read book 2. FYI, book 2 is great, too! But more on that later...)


4 stars - A fun first installment to an RH series I'm really enjoying!

Friday, November 9, 2018

Fearless by Elizabeth Dyer ~ Excerpt & Giveaway


Today we have the release day blitz of FEARLESS by Elizabeth Dyer! Check it out and grab your copy today!



Title: FEARLESS

Author: Elizabeth Dyer

Genre: Contemporary Romance

About Fearless:

A broken man. A desperate woman. And a love that could save them both. William Bennett lost everything to a Special Forces operation gone wrong. A year of captivity and torture has stripped him of his strength and decency. At the edge of losing all hope, the one woman he's never forgotten storms back into his life, giving him more than just his freedom. All Will wants now is to put the agony and violence behind him . . . but he won't go home until she can, too. Cooper Reed has been a lot of things--soldier, sniper, spy--but she never thought traitor would be one of them. Now she can't stop running. Not from the partner sent to kill her, or from the CIA who used her to cover up a dangerous experiment. Cooper needs help, she just never expected to find it in the one man with every reason to hate her--even if he doesn't know it yet. As Will and Cooper race to stay one step ahead of those who want them dead, they'll each have to decide what lines they're willing to cross and what price they're willing to pay . . . and if love really is worth dying for.

Get Your Copy Today:

Fearless

Catch up on the Series:

Defenseless

Relentless


Exclusive Excerpt:

“Going somewhere?”
She swallowed and looked up at him, her irises a slowly expanding pool of blue as her eyes adjusted to the light.
“I—”
“Be very careful with what you say next, Cooper.” Will braced a palm against the door and leaned in close. “And do not lie to me.”
She closed her eyes, and her muscles went loose and tired.
“I have to do this,” she whispered, lines of sadness and resolution changing the contours of her face. “But you don’t.”
She tilted her chin and met his gaze head-on. “In thirty-six hours you could be stateside. With friends and family and the people who love you.” She put her hand to his chest when he shook his head. “You deserve to go home. To rest.” She trailed her hand down the front of his t-shirt, let her fingers trace the row of stitches along his side that he never forgot but mostly ignored. “So much has happened in such a short time. It feels like I found you on that mountain weeks ago. But it was days.”
He flinched when her thumb pressed against the wound.
“You’re still hurting, still healing. And I’ve asked more of you than is fair.” Her hand dropped away. “I had to. But the rest . . . I can do this on my own.”
He’d thought she was walking out on him. That she’d lied to him. That she didn’t trust him or need him.
That she’d played him.
But it was so much worse.
She was trying to save him. Protect him. By sending him home and going forward alone.
Like hell.
She actually had the damn nerve to smile at him. “I’ll be okay.”
And this from the woman who was worried about crossing a line she could never come back from.
There were a thousand things he wanted to say and a million ways to say them. He went with the simplest.
“No.” He dropped his chin, let his forehead touch hers, and breathed her in. There was nothing fancy about the way Cooper smelled. No French perfumes or high-end lotions. Just the simple scent of soap and skin and the lingering mark of a recent shower.
It was honest and fresh, and he knew if he led her back to bed and climbed in next to her that the same scent would be there to greet him, surround him, and lull him into a sleep he chased but rarely achieved on his own.
Maybe it had happened when she’d left Matías alive and let him take his vengeance. Maybe it happened when she’d found him, weak and trembling and unable to do something as basic as shave, yet seen only a survivor’s strength. Maybe it had been the culmination of a hundred little moments over a handful of days.
Ultimately, it didn’t matter where it had begun, because it all ended in the same place. Somewhere along the line, Cooper Reed had become synonymous with home.
Which meant Will couldn’t go back without her.



 

About Elizabeth Dyer:

Elizabeth Dyer likes her heroines smart and snarky, and her heroes strong and sexy. An attorney and recent coffee devotee, Elizabeth spends the majority of her time tucked into a corner table at Starbucks or pinned beneath her (overly affectionate) bullmastiff. When she isn’t working or wrestling the dog, you can usually find Elizabeth writing the types of sexy, suspenseful books she most loves to read. A born-and-bred Texan, Elizabeth resides in Dallas, where she indulges in Netflix marathons, Instagramming her dog, and brunch. Definitely brunch. Adorably awkward, Elizabeth hates the phone as much as she loves all the social-media things and hearing from her readers. Follow her on Twitter (@lizdyerwrites), Instagram (@elizabethdyerwrites), Facebook (@elizabethdyerauthor) or, to sign up for her newsletter (https://bit.ly/2H1fj4R), or visit her website (ElizabethDyer.net)

Connect with Elizabeth:

Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram | Website | Newsletter

Enter Elizabeth’s Giveaway:


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