Tag Archives: fantasy

The Holiday Tradition Book Lovers Have Been Waiting For by Alison Ingleby #Christmas #ebooks #holidays

Special Guest Post by Alison Ingleby

From Christmas jumpers to putting out cookies and milk for Santa, we all have Christmas traditions that have been passed down through the generations. But my favorite tradition of all is Iceland’s “Yule book flood”, or Jólabókaflóð.

(If you just spat out your coffee, here’s how you actually pronounce it.)

Originating in World War II when imports to the country were restricted, Iceland’s bookish tradition involves exchanging books on Christmas eve and then spending the rest of the evening reading.

Could there be a more perfect holiday tradition?

In fact, Iceland could well lay claim to being the most book-loving nation on earth. A study found it to be the world’s third most literate nation (behind Finland and Norway – perhaps the cold dark winters have something to do with Scandinavian countries dominating the top five spots) and more than one in ten Icelanders will publish a book.

It’s certainly a country to inspire writers, with its vast ice caps, black volcanic beaches, bubbling mud pits, and a wealth of Norse mythology. Iceland has a long history of storytelling, stretching back to the famous Icelandic sagas; tales of Icelandic families whose ancestors migrated to Iceland from other northern European countries. Before the days of print or even handwritten books, these stories were passed down orally and many have been lost to time.

Whether historic sagas are your cup of tea or you prefer a lighter read, the tradition of giving books at Christmas is one any book lover can embrace. Not only can you share your favorite books with others, you’ll also receive plenty of new books to see you through the dark January days.

Here are a few ideas to start your own family holiday tradition:

  • Personal recommendation – buy the books which have given you the most enjoyment over the past year and match them to your loved ones’ tastes.
  • A blind date with a book – wrap your chosen books in brown paper, write a clue as to the genre or style of book on the outside and let people pick their own read.
  • Bookstore gift card – Not sure what book to buy for your fussy Aunt Mildred? A gift card for a local bookstore means she gets to pick exactly what she wants.
  • Gift an eBook – if you’re doing your Christmas shopping with just a few hours to go, it’s never too late to gift an eBook. If you live in the U.S., you can gift a specific eBook on Amazon and Nook, or you can buy a general gift card which can be redeemed against books of a recipient’s choice.
And in the spirit of gifting, I’ve got a free bookish gift for you this week. The Cursed Lands authors are giving away a special bonus pack of 15 eBooks to everyone who pre-orders the boxed set on iTunes, Nook or Kobo for 99c.

Even if you don’t have an e-reader, the Nook app can be downloaded on any smartphone, tablet or computer.

Once you’ve pre-ordered, head to the Cursed Lands website to get your free gift.

Happy holidays!

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Book Blast ~ Jack Templar and the Last Battle by Jeff Gunhus + $50 Giveaway

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Jack Templar and the Last Battle by Jeff Gunhus

In the last book of the Jack Templar series, Jack and his friends race to stop Ren Lucre before he launches this Creach army against humankind. But the Lord of the Lesser Creach and the Lord of the Zombies hold the last two Jerusalem Stones Jack needs to have any chance of success. To make matters worse, the Oracle predicts that one of their group will die in the upcoming fight, and Jack discovers betrayal among those he trusts most.

Even so, Jack must find the courage to lead his friends into battle. Either they collect the Stones in time to defeat Ren Lucre or die trying. It’s “Do your duty, come what may” no matter the cost. The fate of the world hangs in the balance.

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Excerpt

Before the witch could move, a shadow crashed through the hole in the collapsed roof, snarling and growling. Simultaneously, the cottage door flew open, nearly ripping from its hinges, and something ran into the room moving faster than I could track it. A second later, a person flew in from a side window, landing on the floor with a grunt, rolling and then popping up into a fighting stance.
This last addition was Will, sword pulled, ready for a fight. The other two took me a second because my mind still wasn’t used to their appearance. Daniel had dropped in from the roof, but he was in his werewolf form. Up on his hind legs, he clawed the air in front of him, lines of saliva dripping from his long snout. The shadow that had rushed in from the door was Eva. She stood near the fire, but even in the glow of the flames, her skin appeared pure white, almost translucent. Her posture was perfect, her back slightly arched. Chin out, she stared down the witch as if challenging her to one-on-one combat.
“What took you guys so long?” I asked.
“Oh, I don’t know. You sneaking out without telling anyone. And then trying to cover your tracks,” Will said. “You’re a real bonehead. You know that, right?”
“He knows,” Eva said. “Everyone knows.”
“Thanks,” I said. “I kind of liked it better when it was just me and Bella.”
“Really, looked to me like she was about to let you have it. If you want, we could just leave and –”
“Enough,” the witch yelled, sending the flames higher in the fireplace. “This changes nothing. You think you are any match for me?”
“I don’t know,” Eva said. “You’re looking pretty beat up to me. I feel like I might be able to get a little payback for last time.”
Daniel snarled, chomping the air with his teeth in agreement. The last time we’d had a run-in with Bella of the Woods, she’d easily mopped the floor with Eva and Daniel. I wondered if her ragged appearance meant she was less powerful now – or just more desperate and dangerous.
“We don’t have to do this,” I said. “We all want the same thing.”
“That’s where you’re wrong, Templar,” the witch said. “You want to save your friends. Save your father. Save the world by stopping Ren Lucre’s mad plan to start an open war against humans all over the world. All I want is to have my son back.”
I lowered my sword, hoping to buy more time. “You can’t get him back,” I said softly. “I think you must know that by now, even if you don’t want to admit it. Look at all of your attempts,” I said, pointing to the stack of Talib heads against the wall. They all stared, wide-eyed, their mouths opening and closing like fish out of water gasping for air. “That’s not your son. Not really. And you know it never will be.”
The witch hunched over slowly as if each word I said made her chest ache more. I decided to make my final appeal.
“I said this to you last time I was here. If you can’t bring your son back, at least let me take my best shot at avenging his death. Let me have the Jerusalem Stone back so I can continue my quest to defeat Ren Lucre once and for all.”
The witch’s head twitched to the side as if she heard a new noise. Her lips curled into a cruel grin. “Sorry, Jack. That’s not what I had in mind.”
With a high-pitched scream, she pointed her hands at Eva and Daniel. The two of them blew backward as if a battering ram had run into them. That instant, Will was on the move. He was in the air as the witch turned to him, but he’d been just fast enough. He landed both feet on the witch’s chest, kicking her backward.
The dozens of Talib heads opened their mouths, and their screams joined the witch’s. I lunged forward, ducking as she spun around, the hand with the Jerusalem Stone stretched out toward me. I felt a surge of energy pass over my head like a solid thing. No doubt, if I hadn’t ducked, it would have taken my head clean off my shoulders.
I rolled onto the ground and used my momentum to crash into the witch’s legs. It wasn’t the most graceful move, but it worked. The witch tumbled over, her hand with the Jerusalem Stone smashing into the stone hearth. The Stone rolled out of her hand and into the fireplace.
“Bella, don’t!” I yelled.
Too late.

 

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jeff-gunhusAuthor Jeff Gunhus

Jeff Gunhus is the USA TODAY bestselling author of thriller and horror novels for adults and the middle grade/YA series, The Templar Chronicles. The first book, Jack Templar Monster Hunter, was written in an effort to get his reluctant reader eleven-year-old son excited about reading. It worked and a new series was born. His books for adults have reached the Top 30 on Amazon, have been recognized as Foreword Reviews Book of the Year Finalists and reached the USA TODAY bestseller list.

After his experience with his son, he is passionate about helping parents reach young reluctant readers and is active in child literacy issues. As a father of five, he leads an active life in Maryland with his wife Nicole by trying to constantly keep up with their kids. In rare moments of quiet, he can be found in the back of the City Dock Cafe in Annapolis working on his next novel or on JeffGunhus.com.

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amazon or paypal$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway

Ends 11/15/16

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Book Highlight ~ Feudlings in Smoke by Wendy Knight + Giveaway

 
 

Title: Feudlings in Smoke

Author: Wendy Knight

Series: Fate on Fire #1.5

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Published: January 14th, 2014

Watching helplessly while your baby sister saves the world alone? It kinda sucks.

Will Delacour is one of the most powerful sorcerers to ever live. He’s Guard to the Edren Prodigy—his sister, Ari. But he walked away from the war, refusing to fight in a cause he didn’t believe in. He was deemed a traitor by the powerful Family, and now there’s a price on his head that leaves him trapped in a prison of his own making. And he can’t even tell the love of his life what she means to him because of the magical war that still controls their lives.

Instead of embracing his destiny, Will is forced to watch as Ari goes into battle over and over again, facing her enemies alone. She might be okay with it, but he’s not. He doesn’t believe in the war, but he does believe in her, and he knows his place is fighting by her side. Somehow, Will has to find a way to be there when Ari needs him , even if it means he forfeits his own life in the process.

 
 
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Ari pointed a finger at him, “Don’t think I’ve forgotten that little stunt you pulled today. I’m debating over an adequate punishment.” She shoved herself to her feet, crossing the room and touching a finger to the spark of the doorway she’d left burning. The portal bloomed to life, and he could see the airway hanger, and the sport utility vehicle she’d affectionately named Beep, waiting for her. She stepped through, but paused just on the other side. “Will?”
“Yeah, baby sister?” he asked with a smile. She was going to tell him that he needed to lighten up, or that he wasn’t allowed to lecture boys, or that she forgot his pizza, which she had, and now that he thought about it he was mildly annoyed, but she surprised him.
“You always say that you aren’t there to protect me like you’re supposed to. I think you don’t realize something.” She tipped her head sideways, considering him while his mouth hung open. “You trained me, Will. Without that, I would die a thousand times before the Prodigy ever found me. And today, you stopped that e-mail. You don’t have to be fighting by my side to protect me.” She cracked the barest hint of a sarcastic smile. “Anyway, I’m an uber-powerful warrior. I don’t need a babysitter.” Her sarcastic smile turned sad. “I need a brother who reminds me that I’m not a monster. Who loves me and always has my back. Who reminds me that I still have hope. If not for you, I would be lost. Remember that, Will.”
 
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Wendy Knight was born and raised in Utah by a wonderful family who spoiled her rotten because she was the baby. Now she spends her time driving her husband crazy with her many eccentricities (no water after five, terror when faced with a live phone call, etcetera, etcetera). She also enjoys chasing her three adorable kids, playing tennis, watching football, reading, and hiking. Camping is also big: her family is slowly working toward a goal of seeing all the National Parks in the U.S.

You can usually find her with at least one Pepsi nearby, wearing ridiculously high heels for whatever the occasion may be. And if everything works out just right, she will also be writing.

 
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Book Blast ~ The Offering by Kimberly Derting

offeringThe Offering by Kimberly Derting

True love—and world war—is at stake in the conclusion to The Pledge trilogy, a dark and romantic blend of dystopia and fantasy.

Charlie, otherwise known as Queen Charlaina of Ludania, has become comfortable as a leader and a ruler. She’s done admirable work to restore Ludania’s broken communications systems with other Queendoms, and she’s mastered the art of ignoring Sabara, the evil former queen whose Essence is alive within Charlie. Or so she thinks.

When the negotiation of a peace agreement with the Queendom of Astonia goes awry, Charlie receives a brutal message that threatens Ludania, and it seems her only option is to sacrifice herself in exchange for Ludanian freedom.

But things aren’t always as they seem. Charlie is walking into a trap—one set by Sabara, who is determined to reclaim the Queendoms at any cost.

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Praise for The Offering

“This was a truly epic ending to the series.” –Crystal Perkins, Goodreads Review

“The final book in Kimberly Derting’s Pledge trilogy is a thrilling conclusion. I was immediately swept up into it and powered right through. It was pretty much what I wanted with a few surprises along the way.” –Krys at Bibliopunkk Reads

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kimberly dertingAuthor Kimberly Derting

Kimberly Derting is the author of the BODY FINDER series, THE PLEDGE trilogy, and THE TAKING (coming April 2014 from HarperTeen). She lives in the Seattle area, with her husband and three children, who often find the outrageous things they say either in the pages of her books or posted on Twitter or Facebook for the entire world to see.

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Offering Tour Tour Schedule

BookBlast $50 Giveaway
$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 1/18/14

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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