Monday, November 18, 2013

Ascension (Gryphon series #4) by Stacey Rourke ~ Blog Tour


There is nothing worse than being put on the spot and asked to talk about yourself. For me it brings back that inevitable moment in a new school when the teacher would ask me to stand up, introduce myself and tell the class something about myself. I was always worried I would blurt out something stupid that I would get teased for. Something like, “My name’s Stacey and I like pickles!” Then for the rest of the school year I’d be known as the Pickle Girl and let’s be honest, no one wants that. So to avoid such a faux pas I will simply say that I love to write. It allows me to get my crazy out just enough that I can function as a normal member of society.

Best selling award winning author of the Laugh-out Loud Gryphon Series and the nonfiction book I'm Not Crazy I'm on Lupron; a Journey Through Infertility. Learn more about Stacey's books at or If you are a blogger or reviewer interested in reviewing any of Mrs. Rourke's work please contact her publicist Sara O’Connor at

Alaina Sketch

Somewhere between sleep and awake he came to me. The mattress shifted under his weight as he settled in beside me.

Warm breath teased against my ear. “I could ne’er leave you, lovey.”
His wandering hands gripped my waist and rolled me to face him. This warbled land governed by sleep couldn’t conjure his whole essence—too much time had passed for that. Instead it teased me with glimpses of what I’d been missing; silky hair caressing my cheek. Hot kisses traveling down my neck. Emerald eyes filled with an insatiable hunger. The sensual awakening that jolted through me when his mouth found mine.   

“I’m always with you,” Caleb whispered against my lips.
I twined my arms around his neck and pulled him closer; a move that garnered a low groan of appreciation. His hands roamed up my arms and encircled my wrists. In a sudden, shockingly violent, move he forced them down against the mattress and pinned me there.

I gaped in confusion as green eyes blinked to sapphire blue. His seductive stare twisted into visible disgust and hatred. Like ink dumped from a bottle, the black drained from Caleb’s hair. The dripping color leaked away to reveal long strawberry blond hair ponytailed at the nape of his neck. Alec. Not the latest version of him currently possessed by a three-hundred-year-old demon, but the Alec I first met whilst rolling a tire. The carefree boy I had started to fall for before fate intervened. Yet the look that darkened his gaze was more murderous than welcoming. I thrashed and bucked beneath him but couldn’t seem to summon one iota of strength. His grip on my wrists tightened to the point of pain.

“Is he worth it?” he hissed in my face. “Is he worth the blood on your hands?”

Crimson red blood bubbled up Alec’s throat. It seeped between his teeth and dribbled down his chin. “Will he still want you when he knows what you’ve done and what it cost?”  

Squeezing my eyes shut, I cringed further into the mattress as blood rained down. The warm stickiness, with its pungent rusty smell, dripped on my face and soaked my shirt. 

I risked a glance up to see Alec’s lips curl in an evil grin. “Now, how ‘bout a kiss?”

He bowed his head and crammed his blood soaked lips to mine. My muffled scream quickly turned into a gurgled gasp for air as I fought not to drown in this crimson hell.

Blood pooling.
Swirling together to form a detailed map of carnage.
“Tsk, tsk, tsk.” The Countess pursed her full lips in a mock pout. “And to think he was trying to save you. You must feel simply dreadful right now.”

Anger quickened my breath making each word come out a breathless gasp. “Shut … up.”

“Why’s that?” She rested her palms on her ample hips and let her head fall to the side in a flowing curtain of scarlet. “Don’t feel like talking about it? Can’t say that I blame you. Here he was marching over here so gallantly to protect you while you called him names and berated him. That’s evil even by my standards and I make a viable vocation out of this.” 

One stride into a forward charge toward certain death, I froze. My shocked heart lurched into an awkward stutter beat. The cause of my surprise? Rowan, rolling to his side and yanking the dagger from his gut. The Countess’s painted lips pulled back in a sneer.

Heels clicked across the floor with sharp snaps as she strode straight for him. “I hate it when people don’t have the courtesy to die the first time you kill them.”

With the stiletto heel of her boot, she pinned Rowan’s wrist to the floor … then stomped. Rowan howled and writhed as blood spurted from his wound. His injured hand loosened around the hilt. Before the blade could clank to the ground, the vile enchantress scooped it up. Flipping it in her hand, she arched back for the death blow.  

Nooooo!!”  I channeled everything inside me. Pulling every emotion that ravaged me throughout this god-awful day into my core, I raised both hands and hit her with the full force of my telepathic fury.

The dagger flew from her hand as she pin-wheeled into the darkness.
I rushed to Rowan’s side and eased him to a sitting position. “Row? Rowan?”
It took a minute for his sleepy gaze to find me. Even then his dilated pupils hinted consciousness would be fleeting. In the distance came a soft thud. The Countess must’ve found the other side of this massive hall. My little stunt bought us seconds only.

“Row?” My fingers dug into his shoulders as I attempted to shake him awake. “Can you teleport? I don’t know any other way out of here and we need to go now!”

In place of an answer, his eyes rolled back and his head lulled to the side.
Like rapid-fire gunshots, her heels clicked closer, building around us in an ominous echo.
I slapped Rowan softly once, then a second time with more vigor. “Rowan! Come on! One little poof then you can pass out! I promise! Just get us out of here!”
He woke with a jerk, a protective passion rising on his face. His tensed features sharpened. Turquoise eyes blazed as his injured hand weaved into my hair and pulled me to him. Blood dripped down the back of my neck and dampened my hair, yet pulling away never occurred to me. His lips brushed mine with a tentative question—a plea for acceptance. I hesitated for a fraction of a second before consenting with a resounding mutual urgency. Locked in each other’s embrace, we disappeared in a cloud of smoke.


Were do I begin? For starters if you haven't read the first 3 books you need to stop reading, scroll up and buy them ALL - NOW! 

In the 4th installment of the Gryphon series Celeste is still longing for her handsome Irishman Caleb. Just when she's getting ready to pay her respect to her fallen friend, Rowan walks back into her life, ready to stand by her side till the end. Once she arrives on the Spirit Plane with her loved ones, Celeste is slapped with a shocking truth. As the story begins to unfold, will it be to much for her to handle? When Celeste gets a glimpse of the past and learns why the Countess is so full of hate, especially for the Gryphon, will it change how she views the Countess? With Gainesboro come under attack, Celeste bans together with some unlikely allies, including the Dark Army Glee Club members but has her family left her to fight this one on her own? Will Celeste be able to defeat the Countess or has her luck finally ran out?

As with every other book in the Gryphon series there are so many twist, turns, ups, downs, laughs and tears. Stacey has a natural ability to write in a way that pulls you in from the first words and keeps you entangled in the story until the very last mark on the page. You certainly won't regret buying Ascension. My only advice - grab your favorite drink, get comfy and make sure you won't have any interruptions for a few hours as you get lost in another fantastic book from Stacey!

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MHZ Book Reviews and Giveaways received a free ARC of Ascension for review purposes. All opinions are our own. We received no monetary compensation nor were we paid in any other way for a positive review.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Fanged Outcast by Elisabeth Wheatley ~ Cover Reveal & Giveaway

How much would you sacrifice for a love that wasn’t yours?

Hadassah managed to befriend her kind’s worst enemies and save her brother and the human girl he loves from the Vampiric King—once. After a month spent in quiet hiding under the protection of the Huntsmen, a surprise attack from a band of Kaiju shatters their brief reprieve. Faced with new challenges and new threats, Hadassah and the others must once more fight for her brother and the girl who stole his heart. And this time, the Vampiric King isn’t the only one they need fear…

Action, suspense, humor, and romance collide in this anticipated sequel from teen author, Elisabeth Wheatley.

Author Bio & Links
Elisabeth Wheatley  is a teen author of the Texas Hill Country. When she’s not daydreaming of elves, vampires, or hot guys in armor, she is wasting time on the internet, fangirling over indie books, and training her Jack Russell Terrier, Schnay.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Emily Fogle Author Spotlight, Chasing Flames Giveaway

Book Info-
Title: Chasing Flames
Author : Emily Fogle
Genre: YA Paranormal
Audience: 13 and up
Formats: Paperback and E-book
Publisher: Anchor Group
Cover By: Robert Immings
Pages: 169 pages
Published Date:      Oct 31, 2013

Aydah Bell was happy in her normalcy; she was never the class clown or the sports hero, never the beauty queen or little Ms. Honor Student. One day, after a pointless family mini-vacation, Aydah returns to school and finds that her sheltered little world has turned upside-down. Besides the fact that she is beginning to crave raw meat, people are also disappearing.
Suddenly, an alarming disappearance in the quiet and serene city she calls home puts the whole town into high-alert. One of Aydah’s schoolmates vanishes during the weekend and is conveniently replaced by a newcomer. To Aydah’s surprise, the new boy is the completely beautiful and oh-so mysterious Liam Bailey.
Aydah finds herself drawn to Liam. He consumes her thoughts and she aches to be with him. In the mix of passion, jealousy, and hatred that follows, Aydah is too distracted to see the horrible fate headed straight for her.

There was so much pain. My skin was on fire and sweat dripped from every pore of my body. There was nothing I could do to make it go away, nothing in the world that could stop it. My flesh was being ripped from my bones, and my insides were being torn out. I was dying … what else could it be? Nothing besides death would feel so terrible. My head pounded and my brain ached. Hot pokers seared into my eyes, and my ears throbbed with sharp, shooting pains.
For just a moment more, his fingers continued to touch my forehead. He was perfectly still. His eyes were riveted to my face, like he was memorizing every line, every curve, with his fingertips and copying the image of my features into the palm of his hand. When he lowered his hand slowly, the tips of his fingers traced the bridge of my nose and followed down my jaw line. Frozen feathers, velvety and invigorating, awakening my body with their soft tickling chill. He cupped my chin in his hand and I could feel how powerful he was. He could bring down a mountain, reducing it to dust, but he was also gentle. There was safety in his stone caress and tenderness. The tips of his fingers rested beneath my chin and lifted my head slightly. As he brought his face to mine, my heart caught in my chest and my breath stopped completely. My head was a tornado of want and need. The temperature of my skin began to boil, but Liam’s skin sent a shiver down my spine. I was burning with fever, but shivering against the cold.

Chasing Flames by Emily Fogle
Tour Schedule – Nov 11 to Nov 24

Nov 11

Nov 12

Nov 13

Nov 14

Nov 15

Nov 16

Nov 17

Nov 19

Nov 20

Nov 21

Nov 22

Nov 23

Book Links-
E-Copy of Chasing Flames by Emily Fogle
E-Copy of Dragon Wars by Emily Fogle
Signed Bookmark
Chasing Flames keychain
$10 Amazon Gift Cards

About the Author –
Emily Fogle was born and raised in Southern California. Her dream and ultimate goal was to get her Master’s degree in English and become a teacher with enough time to write, as well. However, she soon found out that the best dreams often come true when they aren’t planned. Instead of fulfilling her teaching goal, real life took over and she married the man of her dreams. She now has an amazing 7 year old son and another beautiful baby boy on the way.

She dedicates the majority of her time taking care of her family, volunteering at her son’s school, and being a Cub Scout Den leader. And though she loves every minute of it, the thought of being a writer still tugs at her heart. So, after the busy days are done and everyone is finally sleeping quietly, she squeezes in time for all the other loves in her life: the characters running wild inside her head.

     Now, incredibly, her writing dream is also coming true. Her first novel, Dragon Wars, is being published by Anchor Group. Emily feels sincerely blessed to have been given so much in life and can’t wait to start the next chapter.

Media Links –

100 Facebook Likes Giveaway

Yesterday morning when I woke up I was pleasantly surprised to see that we had surpassed 100 likes on facebook, and it has continually rose all day! I planned to get this post out yesterday, and I'm sorry I didn't. Unfortunately I'm unable to sit upright for very long right now.

I am fairly certain all the new "likes" are coming from the 2nd Annual Apple Festival Giveaway I am partaking in (have you entered yet?), but none the less we are super excited to have you all here! To celebrate we are going to raffle off some various SWAG items!

Random SWAG Pack
  • Signed Nate Rocks bookmark from kids lit author Karen Pokras Toz
  • Nate Rocks bracelet 
  • Nate Rocks pencil
  • Individual Nate Rocks sticker
  • Sticker of 4 of Karen's children's books 
  • Millicent Marie Is Not My Name bookmark from Karen Pokras Toz
  • Chasing Invisible bookmark from Karen Pokras Toz
  • Wendy Nystrom bookmark
  • Dragon Wars by Emily Fogle pencil
  • Dragon Wars tattoo

Here is a mobile friendly link to enter.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Doll Maker (A Wierdville Book) by Majanka Verstraete REVIEW

Evolved Publishing presents The Doll Maker, the first book in the Weirdville series by Majanka Verstraete. This lower grade spooky adventure is perfect for kids 6-10 years old.

Derek’s little sister wants one of those creepy-looking dolls staring at him from the strange new doll shop in town, and what his sister wants, she gets. Now they’re stuck with a doll that looks so human, it gives Derek the creeps.

When Derek tells his friends, Martin and Jamie, about the new shop with creepy human-like dolls, they want to see for themselves. That has “bad idea” written all over it, but he takes his friends there anyway.

They meet the mysterious doll maker, who reminds Derek of Dr. Frankenstein, and who brainwashes Martin into buying one of those scary dolls. Derek and Jamie push and pull Martin out of the shop, but something isn’t right with their friend. He’s shivering all over, and he has no memory of what happened in the shop.
Martin’s condition worsens every day, and Derek’s sister grows more and more obsessed with her new doll. Derek and Jamie have to find out what’s going on, and fast, because….

…the doll maker seems linked to a bunch of mysterious disappearances, and the last thing Derek wants is his sister, or his friend, being next on the doll maker’s list.

Majanka Verstraete begged her Mom to teach her how to read while she was still in kindergarten. By the time she finished fifth grade, she had read through the entire children’s section of her hometown library. 
She wrote her first story when she was seven years old, and hasn’t stopped writing since. With an imagination that never sleeps, and hundreds of possible book characters screaming for her attention, writing is more than a passion for her.
She writes about all things supernatural for children of all ages. She’s tried to write contemporary novels before, but something paranormal always manages to crawl in. 

Majanka is currently studying for her Master of Law degree, and hopes one day to be able to combine her passions for law and writing. When she's not writing, reading or studying, she likes to watching The Vampire Diaries and Game of Thrones, spending time with her friends, or playing World of Warcraft.

Connect with Majanka


Poppy's Review: 

The Doll Maker is a cleverly written horror story for kids ages 6-10 years old. However, it won't, or should I say shouldn't, give them nightmares. Yet, it is still creepy enough for older kids and even adults to enjoy.  

When a doll shop suddenly appears in town, and no one can remember anyone moving into the store, strange things begin happening in the small town of Weirdville. One afternoon Annie, along with her mother and older brother Derek, stroll past the store. Annie begins to beg for a doll sitting in the display window but her Mother tells her no. After all, she just had a birthday. Derek inquires why she would even want something so creepy. As their Mother drags Annie away, Derek glances back and notices the creepy Doll Maker standing in the shop window. 

Derek visits the store with his two friends, Martin and Jamie, something strange happens and Martin falls ill. Unbeknownst to the three boys at the time, The Doll Maker has placed a cursed on Martin. Then Derek learn kids have gone missing in their town and one has a very similar name to Annie's new doll, Tim. Could it be a consequence or is something going on with the creepy new Doll Maker? Derek is determined to find out.

The Doll Maker will keep you on the edge of your seat while wanting more and more. You'll quickly turn each page to learn more while curled up in your bed. Just be sure to leave the lights on! 


(Weirdville Books)
If you loved The Doll Maker, you’re sure to love these next two books in the Weirdville
series of slightly scary stories, ideal for kids 6-10 years old. Watch for them both coming

December 2, 2013 from Evolved Publishing.

MHZ Book Reviews and Giveaways/Marietta Homeschooling Zoo was given a free copy of The Doll Marker for an open and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.